Stacey Abrams’s #1 New York Times Fan Strikes Again, On Page One: ‘Superstar’

January 4th, 2022 12:39 PM

New York Times political reporter Astead Herndon graced Monday’s front page with more fanboy service for the seemingly inevitable Stacey Abrams For President campaign: “Left and Center-Left Both Claim Stacey Abrams. Who’s Right?

The well-placed story seems to exist more as an excuse to talk up Abrams’s presidential prospects than to provide actual news value, even though the would-be Democratic president lost the 2018 Georgia governor’s race to Republican Brian Kemp and lobbed baseless accusations of voter suppression afterward.

Of course, those accusations were cheered on by the newspaper.

Somehow this makes her a leading candidate for President of the United States (presumably after the Biden-Harris team cycle out) (click “expand”):

To left-leaning Democrats, Stacey Abrams, who is making her second run for Georgia governor, is a superstar: a nationally recognized voting-rights champion, a symbol of her state’s changing demographics, and a political visionary who registered and mobilized tens of thousands of new voters -- the kind of grass-roots organizing that progressives have long preached.

“I don’t think anyone could call Stacey Abrams a moderate,” said Aimee Allison, the founder of She the People, a progressive advocacy group for women of color.

Moderates would beg to differ. They see Ms. Abrams as an ally for rejecting left-wing policies that center-left Democrats have spurned, like “Medicare for all,” the Green New Deal to combat climate change and the defunding of law enforcement in response to police violence.

In pants-on-fire lie, Herndon positioned Abrams in the sensible center, insisting that “a review of Ms. Abrams’s policy statements and television advertisements, and interviews with political figures who have known her for years, reveal a leader who has carefully calibrated her positions, making a point to avoid drifting into one Democratic lane or another.

Except for her false claims of voter suppression?

Nope! Instead, Herndon couldn't stop waxing poetic about her “pragmatism,” which sounded an awful lot like how the liberal media framed many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates:

Such pragmatism has encouraged some moderates -- including Georgians who served with Ms. Abrams in the State Capitol -- to compare her to other center-left national figures who had credibility among the grass-roots base, like Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton….

He added, “That independence has made her a very viable candidate.”

The cheerleading continued:

As much as Democrats may want to label her, Mr. Jealous advised against it, citing two lessons he learned about Ms. Abrams when they first met as 19-year-old college activists. The first: She would not be pushed to go anywhere she was not comfortable. The second: “Never speak after her,” he said.

Herndon concluded with a piece of dramatic stage-setting for an Abrams’ presidential run.

Mr. Phillips, the Democratic donor, said he was confident that the war between moderates and progressives would not affect Ms. Abrams in 2022.

When, then, would it matter?

“If and when she runs for president,” he said.

Herndon is a long-time booster of Abrams’ presidential prospects.

His February 2019 story, "Stacey Abrams Isn’t Running for President. Should She Be?", similarly positioned Abrams as a kind of Goldilocks candidate, not too hot, not too cool, but just right: “As for Ms. Abrams, the crowd behind her was racially diverse and featured more women than men, and blended liberal priorities with bipartisan appeals.”