Former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is pitching herself as a potential running mate for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Though Abrams has benefited from fawning media praise, selecting her would come with its downsides for Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Here are five reasons why Abrams would be a risky choice.
She’s never been elected to office higher than state representative
Abrams has never been elected to an office higher than Georgia state representative, serving as minority leader in the state legislature — and she doesn’t even hold that office at the current moment.
State legislators are ubiquitous in the political world: the United States has more than 5,400 state representatives and nearly 2,000 state senators, according to Ballotpedia. And yet, if Abrams becomes Biden’s running mate and he wins, she’ll be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Her qualifications are especially important considering Biden’s advanced age. The former vice president is 77-years-old and will turn 78 in November. If elected, Biden would be the oldest president in American history.
Those steamy romance novels
Abrams wrote a series of steamy romance novels that could be awkward for her to address on the campaign trail. While her novels aren’t as aggressive as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s essay about a woman having gang rape fantasies, it still contains sexually explicit content outside the norm for a vice president’s writing.
She refused to accept the results of the Georgia election
Abrams refused to accept the results of the Georgia gubernatorial election for months on end, insisting that she won the race and denying that Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was the legitimate winner of the election.
Her refusal to accept the results of an election opens her up to charges of hypocrisy, given that she criticized President Donald Trump in 2016 for refusing to commit to accepting the election results if he lost. As recently as last month, a group that Abrams leads placed an asterisk next to Kemp’s name in ad attacking him.
Mountains of debt
Abrams’s debt struggles could be a liability for her and Biden on the campaign trail. Abrams admitted in 2018 to owing more than $200,000 in credit card debt, student loans and IRS back taxes, and a nonprofit she founded was repeatedly targeted by state regulators over unpaid taxes.
‘Ongoing’ ethics investigation
Georgia’s ethics commission is investigating allegations that Abrams’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign illegally coordinated with outside groups in violation of campaign finance laws.
The head of the ethics commission, David Emadi, told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Friday that the investigation remains “ongoing” but said he’s legally prevented from sharing any further details about it.
Emadi said in December 2019 that a nonprofit tied to Abrams acted as a de facto political committee.
Abrams has denied any wrongdoing. She won a minor victory in February when a judge denied the commission’s pursuit of correspondence between her campaign and the outside groups in question.