Is Stacey Abrams being groomed for higher office?

The practice of opposing a party rebuttal to the president's State of the Union speech was started in 1966, when Republicans Senator Everett Dirksen and Rep. Gerald Ford responded to Democrat President Lyndon Johnson's State of the Union on television.  

Since then, it has become an annual event. 

Until 2019, all previous responses were delivered by contemporary senators, representatives, or governors.

Since 2011, there have been two responses — one in English and one in Spanish.  And here I was, under the illusion that English is our national language. 

So how did Stacey Abrams, an ungracious loser with no national elective office, become the Democrats' choice to deliver a response?  Now, that is quite a strange break from tradition.

Who is pulling her strings? 

Abrams has a meager political résumé.  She served as minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017 until she became the Democratic Party's nominee for Georgia's gubernatorial election in 2018.  

She wrote many novels under the name Selena Montgomery.  The titles — Reckless, The Art of Desire, and Hidden Sins — evoke romance and mystery, but the reviews attribute them to her interest in social and economic policies.  Oh, well.

She did write a book under her own name: Minority Leader: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change in 2018.  

 Also in 2018, she wrote: 

I have spent the past few weeks dealing with the fallout from my personal financial disclosure report. As everyone following the race now knows, I owe the IRS over $50,000 in deferred tax payments (I am currently on a repayment plan) and hold more than $170,000 in credit card and student loan debt.

Not exactly a confidence-builder for one who wants to occupy the governor's mansion in Georgia and control the budget, but she attributed her debt to "not shirking her responsibilities" in the care of her ailing parents.  Okay.

The fact is, she has a calm and pleasing demeanor and won the Democratic Party's nomination to run against Brian Kemp, then secretary of state in Georgia and the GOP contender for governor.

She lost, not by a landslide, but by a significant 54,723 votes, which she challenged by accusing her opponent of winning by voter suppression that was racially motivated.

 She ultimately conceded, well aware that a recount would validate Kemp's victory, but remained defiant and harsh.  The progressive choir, including the frontrunners among the 2020 presidential wannabes, defend her and parrot her specious accusations. 

One might guess that that would be the end of the story until she returned to the national spotlight on February 5, 2019, when she was chosen by her party to deliver a response to President Trump's State of the Union address.  How and why and by whom? 

Her rebuttal, delivered with no gaffes, was immediately hailed by the media.  In fact, it was more a campaign speech peppered with the usual platitudes: "my poor parents," "faith," "family," "community," and the requisite call to serve — all followed by a litany of criticism of Donald Trump on immigration, economy, education, voting rights, and "reproductive justice," and all delivered with a beatific smile.

She is clearly being groomed for high office.  Regardless of which candidate wins the Democrat primaries, I bet that Stacey Abrams is planning to be on the ticket.

Image: Barbara Jordan Forum 2012 via Flickr.