In 2018, Stacey Abrams' national claim to fame was being a member of the Georgia House of Representatives that lost the the state's gubernatorial election and refused to accept the legitimacy of the outcome, all of which earned her the chance to deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union in 2019. On Tuesday, her political resume resulted in MSNBC's Morning Joe heaping copious amounts of praise on Abrams as she contemplates a 2020 presidential run.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski talked with PBS White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor about a conversation Alcindor had with Abrams at the South by Southwest festival about her new book and future plans. Alcindor brought up that Abrams keeps a detailed spreadsheet of her career plans. Whereas 2028 was Abrams' ideal time for a White House run, "Now," according to Alcindor, "she's basically saying, 'Hey, I've had some life experiences that I really didn't think I was going to have and now I think I might be ready for 2020."
"You know what I love about this?" co-host Mika Brzezinski responded, "First of all, just the numbers of women in this Democratic field....But, I also love that the women are saying I've been planning to run for President. I've been planning for a long time. It's coming faster than I thought."
Alcindor responded, "Yeah, one of the messages she said was ,'People pushed back on me when I said I wanted to run for President years ago and people said you shouldn't say that out loud....'" to which Mika interjected, "Oh, please." Alcindor continued, "and she said, 'actually no, you need to be as ambitious as you want to be. Don't put limits on yourself."'
It is a bit unseemly for any politician, male or female, who has not been elected to anything higher than the State House to be talking about having a long-term plan to run for president, and despite her claims to the contrary, using other offices as stepping stones to higher office-- a quest for power masquerading as public service.
Claiming she lost because of voter suppression, despite exit polls showing record numbers of minority turnout, has led Democrats and the media to view Abrams as a rising star within the party. Lack of experience and threatening not to accept the outcome of elections are two of Morning Joe's favorite critiques of Trump, but lack of experience and not accepting the outcome of elections are two of the things that have propelled Abrams into the national spotlight and turned Morning Joe into members of The Stacey Abrams Fan Club.
Here is a transcript for the March 12 show:
6:42 AM ET
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So, we’re going to talk 2020 now, we’re going to get to the big picture in just a moment, but Democrat Stacey Abrams says a potential presidential run this year is not out of the question. Abrams tweeted yesterday, "20 years ago I never thought I'd be ready to run for POTUS before 2028 but life comes at you fast- as I shared in Q&A with Yamiche South by Southwest. Now 2020 is definitely on the table.” For Beto, it comes slowly, needs to walk through it all and really think, but Yamiche she discussed her future plans earlier in the day with you.
BRZEZINSKI: How'd you find her and tell me more.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: I found her at South by Southwest, it was a panel that was going to happen…
BRZEZINSKI: No, I mean, in terms of her political aspirations, that too… Austin, Texas.
ALCINDOR: Essentially I found her to be someone, who I think is very much wrestling with what to do in the future. She said over and over again she's going to make a decision to run for something at the end of the month. In her book, she writes about this spreadsheet, she is someone is very intentional. She writes, "Year, date, job, task."
ALCINDOR: So, I said let's play a game: “2020 what’s in your spreadsheet?” She said, “Oh, I have to think about it, but possibly before it was supposed to be 2028 when I run for President. That’s when I thought I was going to be ready.” Now she’s basically saying, “Hey, I’ve had some life experiences that I really didn’t think I was going to have and now I think I might be ready in 2020.” That’s a big deal if Stacey Abrams jumps in, that complicates things for a lot of different people. She’s someone who does have name recognition. She’s someone who is very, I think, authentic and can resonate with voters and frankly I think Cory Booker, Kamala Harris are other progressives, Beto, these are people she can be looking at to say, “hey, this woman as popular as us. She might be someone we should pay attention to.”
BRZEZINSKI: You know what I love about this? First of all, just the numbers of women in this Democratic field, they’re just stepping up, they’re just like the midterms, “all of you just move over, we're coming, we can do this ourselves and figure this out.” But I also love that the women are saying I've been planning to run for president. I've been planning for a long time. It's coming faster than I thought.
BRZEZINSKI: Yeah. To the spreadsheet
ALCINDOR: Yeah, one of the messages she said was, “People pushed back on me when I said I wanted to run for president years ago and people said you shouldn't say that out loud…”
BRZEZINSKI: Oh please
ALCINDOR: And she said, “Actually no, you need to be as ambitious as you want to be. Don’t put any limits on yourself” and I think especially in this age where people are saying, “Yeah, why can’t women be ambitious.” She also shared with me that people a lot of people told her she's too dark, her hair was wrong …
ALCINDOR: …her teeth are wrong, she should lose weight, don’t get into politics because you don't look the part and she said, “I listen to none of those people…”
BRZEZINSKI: Good for her
ALCINDOR: … and I had a lot of success” so I think it's something that could be part of her message, if she runs in 2020 but there is still a senate and possible another governor run.
ALCINDOR: So, there’s still that on the table
BRZEZINSKI: A lot of places, for she knows her value