The White House confirmed on Thursday that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams during an upcoming trip to the state.
Failed candidate for governor Stacey Abrams is a beloved figure in Hollywood and has been widely praised for her efforts to help President Joe Biden win the state in the November 2020 election. It was the first time Georgia voted blue since 1992, and that victory has allowed Biden to push through legislation that might otherwise have remained in partisan deadlock.
The 46th president and his running mate credit Abrams for a portion of the state’s voter support and plan to express their gratitude for her work during a visit to Georgia. While the trip was originally intended to allow Biden and Harris to attend a rally in celebration of the passing of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, recent mass shootings have postponed the event. The pair will still meet with local Asian American leadership to discuss rising violence and then visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Biden-Harris trip coincides with a push from state Republicans for changes to election laws. Abrams recently called the proposals a “redux of Jim Crow, in a suit and tie.” Abrams told CNN’s Jake Tapper:
We know the only thing that precipitated these charges — it’s not that there was a question of security — in fact, the secretary and the governor went to great pains to ensure Georgia elections were secure. So the only connection that we can find is that more people of color voted, and it changed the outcome of elections in a direction that Republicans did not like. So instead of celebrating better access and more participation, their response is to try and eliminate access to voting, primarily in communities of color.
The 47-year-old activist has already enjoyed public praise from Biden, who lauded her work at a Democrat rally on the eve of the January senate elections. “Nobody in America has done more for the right to vote” than Abrams, then President-elect Biden said at the time. “Stacey, you’re changing Georgia,” he said. “You’ve changed America.”
She has received a similar boost from former President Barack Obama, who praised her “resilient, visionary leadership” in a state that he described as “a testament to the tireless and often unheralded work of grassroots organizing.” Such effusive endorsement is likely intended to help Abrams if she decides to take on incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) again in 2022.