The Democratic Party already has a diverse pool of contenders for the 2020 race, and it most likely won't include former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. In an interview at SXSW in Austin, Texas, on Monday, Abrams said she may launch a presidential campaign in the future, with 2028 being the "earliest" that that bid could happen.
"In the spreadsheet with all the jobs I wanted to do, 2028 would be the earliest I would be ready to stand for president because I would have done the work I thought necessary to be effective in that job," Abrams said.
The popular Democrat, who in November 2018 ran an intense and ultimately unsuccessful race against former Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, also spoke about her larger immediate goal. "My task is to make certain that a Democrat is elected not only to the White House but that we have a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democratic majority in Congress," she said.
Abrams' former campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo clarified her remarks later on Monday. Abrams' comments, Groh-Wargo tweeted, "were in reference to her years-old spreadsheet, not her current considerations. She is taking a look at all options on the table in 2020 and beyond."
Abrams also pointed out that the Democratic Party would have to adopt a new strategy in the 2020 presidential race. "I think beating Donald Trump is the wrong mission," Abrams said on Monday. "When you're focused on your enemy then you are ignoring your allies."
In 2018, during her bid for Georgia governor, Abrams gained national prominence as she fought for the rights of black voters in Georgia, especially with helping them to register to vote. After the election, Abrams told NPR that she, too, ran into trouble when casting her ballot early in October.
In December, Abrams hinted at running for office once more. The Democrat spoke at a TedWomen conference in California that month: "I am moving forward knowing what is in my past. I know the obstacles they have for me. I’m fairly certain they’re energizing and creating new obstacles now. They’ve got four years to figure it out. Maybe two."
If Abrams runs for office again in four years, she will most likely face Kemp as her competition in a gubernatorial race. And if she runs in two years, Abrams will have to defeat GOP Sen. David Perdue in senatorial campaign.
At that TedWomen conference in December, Abrams also said that one ought to pursue a goal if he or she has a burning desire for it. "It should be something that doesn’t allow you to sleep at night unless you’re dreaming about it," the Peach State Democrat noted in December.
With a penchant to speak her mind without fear, Abrams has climbed the ranks in the Democratic Party. In January, the party picked Abrams to deliver its response to Trump's State of the Union speech.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer showered praised on Abrams at the time of the decision, "She’s an incredible leader. She has led the charge for voting rights, which is at the root of just about everything else." With such a resolute portfolio under her belt, Abrams' future in politics seem solid.