OPINION: Former deputy campaign manager, Marcus Ferrell, makes the case as to why the Georgia political star is the best and only choice for vice president
We might be watching a disaster in slow motion. A white liberal politician who almost certainly secured the Democratic nomination — thanks to Black voters — is considering another white moderate as a running mate.
The sheer fact that this is even an idea is not only disrespectful to Black Americans, but it is also a strategic mistake of epic proportions considering there is an available vice presidential candidate who can fill in the obvious gaps for the presumptive nominee.
That woman’s name is Stacey Abrams.
I’ll admit that I’m biased. I served a short stint as the Georgia gubernatorial candidate’s deputy campaign manager, and she endorsed my campaign for the statehouse. She also built a strong coalition of white, Black, progressive, and moderate Democrats in her stolen bid for the governorship in 2018.
There are practical reasons why Abrams is the only choice Biden should be looking at right now.
Just five years ago, not many people outside of Georgia knew who Abrams was. In that short time, she has become the rightful governor of Georgia (I don’t care what anyone says, she won that stolen election) and is presently the poster child for voting rights in America.
Abrams has amplified her national profile by being an astute political strategist while wielding the justice sword for voting equity in America. That is a pretty strong comeback after Trump’s 2016 upset victory, which was arguably driven by a backlash to America’s first Black president and an overall boring Democratic ticket that promised more of nothing.
Will Black voters stand in the rain, wait in long lines or brave COVID-19 for Biden and another white moderate? No.
Abrams not only has the charisma to bring Black voters to the polls but also can inspire them enough to wait in lines for hours in the most adverse voting environments, evidenced by the turnout in majority-Black districts for her 2018 race.
Trump will cheat to win. He’s a sitting president who won’t blink an eye at cheating voters and will use every excuse in the book to stop Americans from accessing their right to vote. Abrams and her team were responsible for registering hundreds of thousands of voters in a state that ultimately purged more than 300,000 names from its voter rolls just before her election.
Biden should be careful not to let his white consultants gaslight him into believing that a white moderate from any state will deliver him the presidency. Unless he wants to repeat the same mistake that Hillary Clinton made in 2016 by nominating a white Spanish speaker who didn’t motivate BLPOC to galvanize around her campaign (I like to call it the Tim Kain effect).
This time around, you need an experienced Black woman who has the ability to lead, the competence to administrate, and the skill set to be one of the first Black people to win an election in the deep south.
Black voters, at least locally, have already shown that they’re willing to come out in huge numbers to support Abrams. The opportunity to galvanize a wider swath of voters and expand the current electorate does not lay in the white consultant thought process of ‘white working-class’ voters. Biden needs to fire said consultant and elevate the voices who tell you what you need to hear: Stacey Abrams is your only choice.
He won’t secure the coveted Black vote without her.