When Stacy Abrams ran for Governor of Georgia, she lost the election but steadfastly asserted “I have an announcement to make,” she says, and the room is hushed, expectant. “We won.” The audience erupts into cheers, and Abrams takes a moment before adding, “I realize I’m not the governor of Georgia. I’m not taking the oath of office. I’m not moving into the mansion. They’re saying that because I didn’t get all the numbers I needed, that somehow I didn’t win.” Abrams never conceded, which makes perfect sense because she’s operating under the notion that she won – despite not having the majority of the votes.
Abrams heads to one of her favorite places for dumplings, an obviously frequent occurrence. As soon as she enters the market, people of all ages and races approach her with grins. Right after a hearty lunch she heads to a soul-food stall, cashiers and cooks surround her. “Are you a fan of chicken? Are you vegan?” one asks. Abrams stops. “Are you asking if I like chicken? I’m a black woman from Mississippi; it’s like my religion,” she says. The group laughs.
Heading home to the living room of her slate-blue Atlanta town house, neutrally decorated and filled with books. It’s the home of a woman who likes to be at home. A sand-colored couch faces a pale fireplace, decorated with family photos, a picture of Abrams with President Obama, and a statuette of Lady Justice. A makeshift trough of chocolate candies has been set on the dining-room table.
Despite her dubious grasp on how democracy works, Abrams says her attention shifted to something more vitally important: saving American democracy itself. Part of her new mission is the bring the sore-loser politics of Hillary Clinton and her own race for Georgia governor to the national stage. She brings with her the clever device of encouraging her supporters to try and vote illegally by showing up at a polling place not their own and cast a provisional ballot. Knowing that the votes will not be counted for the vote is of no moment – because it fits her battle cry of voter suppression. And, of course, there will be the obligatory fund-raising, presumably of the stripe that makes politicians millionaires while they boast a lifetime of public service.
But first things first. Abrams priority these days is making Taco Tuesday a national holiday.