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Joe Biden meets with Stacey Abrams, fueling rumors of combined 2020 ticket
U.S. Embassy Romania / CCL
Is Joe Biden scouting for a running mate?
The former vice president met with Democratic rising star Stacey Abrams in Washington on Thursday, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. This comes as Biden is expected to announce his bid for the presidency soon.
Biden-Abrams meeting raises speculation
Abrams’ Georgia gubernatorial race against Brian Kemp was one of the marquee contests of the 2018 midterms. Despite losing her election, Abrams’ political rise has continued apace and her supporters have encouraged her to run for office again.
While Abrams has also expressed interest in running for president, she hasn’t given any clear signals yet on which path she plans to take. She hasn’t ruled out a vice presidential run, and with Biden expected to announce soon, the meeting has raised speculations that the former vice president is looking to build a diverse ticket.
The two could hardly strike a greater contrast. Biden is a centrist Democrat with decades of government experience, while Abrams is an inexperienced progressive who, despite losing her governor’s race, has become a prominent figure in the party’s far-left wing. She delivered the Democrats’ response to President Trump’s State of the Union address this year.
Some have questioned whether a septuagenarian white male can carry the mantle of a party that has become increasingly interested in diversity. The Democratic field of candidates is crowded with younger, more progressive candidates, including several women and one black woman.
Politically, it makes sense for Biden to run a balanced ticket by selecting a woman or a minority as his running mate.
However, Biden has led early polling so far. RealClearPolitics has him leading the race, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), also a white male.
Abrams fans speculation, too
Abrams’ meeting with Biden is the latest of several with Democratic candidates who have or are expected to announce. Abrams has met with Democratic 2020 candidates Sens. Cory Booker (NJ), Elizabeth Warren (MA) Kamala Harris (CA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), who shared breakfast with Abrams in Washington on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Abrams has fanned speculation of her own presidential ambitions, telling reporters Tuesday that 2020 is “definitely on the table.” Abrams has been under pressure from Democrats to run against Trump ally Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) in 2020, but she hasn’t ruled out challenging Gov. Kemp again in 2022 either.
Abrams plans to announce what she’ll do in April.
“I am going to run for something. And I will tell you in April. But everything is on the table. I’m not being coy,” she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This is hard. When you spend two years focusing on one thing it’s not easy to turn to something else.”
If she runs, Abrams would not be the only Democrat looking to convert midterms buzz into a 2020 bid. Beto O’Rourke, who lost his run against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in November, recently launched his bid for the presidency.
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