Stacey Abrams may have lost her 2018 bid for Georgia’s governor’s mansion, but if anything, that loss has made her light shine a little brighter.
There was speculation of Abrams possibly running alongside possible presidential candidate Joe Biden, and Democrats, particularly Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have been doing their best to sell Abrams on a Senate run.
So, which will it be?
Abrams hinted—quite heavily—that Schumer’s pleas might be working, while speaking in New York this week.
At the 92nd Street Y Thursday night, actress Holland Taylor described to Abrams a daydream she had in which Abrams occupies not just the governor’s mansion in Georgia, but also the White House, and eventually becomes the first female Chief Justice on the Supreme Court.
“I will take it under advisement,” Abrams joked. But a Senate run in 2020 is looking likely.
Speaking at the Women in the World Summit earlier in the day, Abrams said her primary responsibility right now is to figure out what she actually wants, which is why she’s giving very careful consideration to the Senate.
“I think you have to do things for the right reason and at the right time,” Abrams said, “not just because it’s available.”
But before anyone starts pushing out the Abrams 2020 bumper stickers, Abrams suggested it might take time before she announces anything at all. But whatever she decides to do in 2020, Abrams’ comments did provide hints as to some policy areas that are important to her.
Abrams said that if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2020, their primary policy objective should be to “save our democracy” by fixing voting rights in America. Because whether it’s climate change or criminal justice reform, every public policy needs to have voters to carry it through.
“The president cannot solve these problems,” Abrams said. “Fixing voting rights, if you spend all of your political capital there, then you get everything else.”
Drawing on the story of one of her brothers who has bipolar disorder and has struggled with addiction, Abrams also stressed the importance of systematic change when it comes to mental illness and addiction.
“Treating the disease of addiction and not treating the disease of mental health means you are only solving half the problem,” Abrams said. “And unfortunately in our society, the solution for the the other half is prison.
“His very disease traps him, and so does the system that will never let him not be in trouble,” she continued. “I want to make sure we have systems that understand that this is a holistic problem, so you can’t have a single source answer.”
As for America’s role in the world, Abrams said the U.S. is losing its place as a moral leader and wants it to regain that status by being “if not the conscience, then at least the nation that stands for aspiration to higher or more.”
Next up, tax policy.
“Tax policy structures everything about our lives,” Abrams said. “It encourages marriage, it discourages child raising, it makes determinations about whether you get an education and how. We need to be looking at the pre-tax structure where the workers’ incomes are sufficient to sustain their lives, and therefore their communities, and therefore our nation.”
Abrams also advocated for better access to healthcare and “a planet that still exists,” saying neither of these things are leftist ideas, but “human ideas” that are pretty basic wants across party lines.
And finally, returning to Taylor’s ‘daydream’ of Abrams on the Supreme Court bench:
“If we don’t have a judiciary that values our rights and protects them, then we are at the mercy of racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia and all of the social pathologies and ills that have fractured us for so long,” Abrams said. “We’ll see how many of those things I can get done.”