Choosing an outsider would acknowledge how unpopular Congress is with the public. Choosing one as dynamic, popular and promising as Abrams, from a state in the South where Democrats have been gaining in strength, would signal a real change in the party’s philosophy — and anoint a leader who has the communications skills to go toe to toe with Trump.
A bold move like this would also fortify the alliances of progressives who helped pull Democrats over the finish line on Tuesday, strengthen the Democratic bench for Senate and presidential runs in 2020 and serve as a strong rebuke of the voter suppression and racism in Georgia at the hands of likely governor-to-be Brian Kemp. If House Democrats make this choice, Abrams as speaker would be a win for the party and for democracy. The move would also serve as a long-overdue acknowledgment of the contributions black women have always made to the Democratic Party, doing much of the work in exchange for very little credit or influence.