Dropped by the polling spot in the West End Atlanta to cast a vote. Gentleman behind me, African American, begins to harp quietly but confidently about the historic moment; the opportunity to send Georgia’s first black American female to the governor’s office.
I held my tongue. I am not impressed by the notion of symbolic voting, the need to be the “first black this” or the “first black that.” It has garnered black Americans nothing of substance other than a brief few hours of pride for the onesie-twosies.
Should Stacey Abrams pull off a victory, whether tonight or in a run-off, she will have her ability to negotiate across the aisle challenged by a legislature dominated by Republicans who reside mostly outside of Interstate 485. Democrats don’t appear to have invested any time in providing Ms. Abrams a legislature that will work with her or at least a legislature with enough Democrats to provide her some leverage.
My instincts tell me, however, that Ms. Abrams will be satisfied with milking the “Oh, the Republicans are blocking me at all turns because I am a black woman” argument. Given the amount of support she has received from liberal political action committees outside of the Peach State, the end game may be for Ms. Abrams to survive long enough to be a viable candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2024.
I expected Kasim Reed to make a play for statewide office, but it seems that liberals have made Ms. Abrams their “people of color” poster child and hung their hopes on her.
For this to come to fruition, of course, Ms. Abrams will have to win.