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Stacey Abrams Not Closing Door On Presidential Run

Georgia's fiercest voting rights advocate is still considering her options for 2020.

Stacey Abrams is in Georgia working with the community in every possible capacity to make sure every person living there counts, every person gets counted, and every person's voice is heard. She's fighting hard to make sure poor people, those in immigrant communities, Black people, people who live in rural areas, People of Color — all those marginalized communities that Republicans work so hard to overlook and silence — understand the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and know how to do it.

MSNBC'S Ali Vitali caught up with Abrams in Atlanta and asked if she thought any of the Democratic candidates was doing a good job shining a light on the issue of making sure every vote counted. Abrams said she was pleased with what she's heard on the subject so far, and that marginalized communities are routinely undercounted, she is hoping to hear more from the candidates on the importance of census participation in addition to voter suppression.

At that point, Vitali couldn't resist the obvious question for Stacey Abrams regarding her own candidacy, given that she has stated she will not run for U.S. Senator in Georgia.

VITALI: Given the way that you are a leader in this conversation and many others in the national conversation across the country, why aren't you one of the names in the presidentiial race?

ABRAMS: Well, I am still giving thought to what I'm going to do next, but what I know has to be done now is getting a fair count started in the state of Georgia. We missed out on millions of dollars in resources for underrepresented communities. But we also know that reapportionment, which happens in 2021, the determination of our political lines, that that will also be determined by the count. And we cannot erase any community from the narrative, especially here in Georgia.

WELL, THEN. Abrams must not have gotten the message that at this stage in order to enter you need to be white, male and mediocre. Vitali tossed it over to Hallie Jackson, who just had to follow up on this news by asking if Abrams was prepared to "shut the door on a presidential run right now." (Girl, didn't you just HEAR what she said?)

ABRAMS: No, I'm not. Again, as I've said before, I'm watching to see what happens. I think we've got a robust crop of candidates and I think they're having important conversations, but my mission is to make certain that we are keeping that attention focused all the way through the campaign. So I'm going to keep watching and decide if I need to jump in.
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JACKSON: You said before you've been willing to wait until September. Is that still the operative timeline, in your view? It's late, right? I mean you might miss out on some ground game opportunities, talking to voters in early states, some debates...

ABRAMS: I think the debates are an important part of this process, but the debates are new. And, while I think it's a critical piece that can happen, I do believe I can enter the conversation as late as the fall and still have a real chance to win.

JACKSON: So this talk that continues, and I know you've spoken about it before, about you being a potential vice presidential candidate. Beto O'Rourke, for example, is the most recent one to have floated your name. Has anybody reached out to you about that?

ABRAMS: No one has reached out to me. As i've said before, right now we should be focused on the presidential nominees. If I decide to join the fray, then I look forward to being a robust competitor. After the determination is made who the Democratic nominee is, if I'm not that person for one reason or another, I'm open to the conversation. But I think we need to have our conversations in sequential order, not at the same time.

There you have it. She went on to answer Jackson's question about a Senate run by saying, basically, "Nope. Don't wanna, so I'm not gonna." But if she wants to run for president? She will, and she will run to win. Not only that, she thinks she can.

Sounds like Stacey Abrams has the confidence of a mediocre white man to me. Combine that with a resumé including a Yale Law School degree, being a best-selling romance novelist, starting The New Georgia Project (to register those in marginalized communities to vote), being the only Black woman to lead either part in her state's legislature, being the only Black woman ever nominated by either party for governor of any of these fifty states, and being the only Black woman chosen to give the rebuttal to a State of the Union address, and the first ever non-office-holder to do so, I'm gonna go ahead and predict she might just know what she's talking about.

This is part of our continuing coverage of the 2020 elections.

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