During a TV appearance when the discussion was all about whether or not Stacey Abrams would run for president in 2020, a former U.S. senator practically begged her to run for a Senate seat in Georgia instead.
The former senator, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, made a strong pitch directly to Abrams, saying that if she were to run for senate seat in Georgia she could help end Mitch McConnell’s tenure as majority leader.
Abrams appeared today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss her decision on running for office after her loss in Georgia’s gubernatorial race last November. She lost narrowly in a contest that was marred by claims of massive voter suppression.
She has vowed that if she runs for another statewide office in Georgia, she and other Democrats in the Peach State will not allow themselves to be victimized again by Republican voter suppression efforts.
McCaskill, the former Democratic senator who is now an MSNBC TV analyst, asked the charismatic young African American woman from Georgia to help take down McConnell.
“I think you’ve got a really hard decision,” McCaskill told Abrams. “I think you’re an amazing leader, and I am so proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished – -say that first.”
McCaskill then slammed her former colleague, Georgia senator David Perdue for being a blind supporter of Donald Trump, and indicated that Abrams would be a huge improvement.
“The difference between leadership in the United States Senate between David Perdue and Stacey Abrams is night and day,” McCaskill said. “I mean, he is a sycophant for Donald Trump, he is all things Trump. He’s not even thoughtful about it.”
She pointed out that Democrats could not advance their agenda in the U.S. Congress so long as McConnell stood in the way as Majority Leader.
“I really do think that it will be very hard for us to what we want to do in this country as long as Mitch McConnell is running the show in the United States Senate,” McCaskill said. “So I want you to do whatever your ambition and your planning leads you. I use the word ‘ambition’ because I’m proud of your ambition, women need to own their ambition — I think that’s terrific.”
She said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had helped her overcome her own second thoughts about running for Senate in 2006, but she did, and that helped Democrats take control.
“We took the Senate by three narrow races, in Virginia, Montana and Missouri, and that was in 2006,” McCaskill said. “I think we could repeat that in 2020, but maybe not without you.”
Abrams said she also has received feedback and encouragement from Schumer, to help her make her decision.
However, she was very clear in saying that she still has not decided what she will do next.
“Leader Schumer has been nothing but gracious,” Abrams said. “He’s been very intense and very intentional, and I appreciate that — I appreciate the input. My job is to make sure, one, I’m the right person for the job, two, that it’s the right time, three, that this is the right job that I need to hold.”
But she agreed that someone should replace the junior senator from Georgia.
“I share your disappointment about David Perdue,” Abrams said, laughing.
Stacey Abrams Needs to Have a Future in Politics, and the Future is Now
For many reasons this is a very unusual time in American politics. Three of the Democratic Party’s rising stars all lost elections last November: Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Gillum, along with Stacey Abrams.
But for all of these three talented young leaders there must be made a place — not just in the party, but in elected office. O’Rourke is running for president, and there is a good chance that Abrams will be running for the senate. (Gillum’s plans for the future aren’t known, but he is leading a massive voter registration effort in his home state of Florida.)
As the tide turns in American politics, people like Stacey Abrams may very likely be swept into power. And the time for that to happen is right now — there is no time to lose in the effort to heal America from the wounds inflicted by Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.