Stacey Abrams went from reportedly being courted by Joe Biden to be his vice-presidential running mate to seemingly falling out of the conversation altogether to now, apparently, not being included on the list of speakers at next week’s Democratic National Convention (DNC).
While additional names will undoubtedly be added to the list of speakers, the optics of Abrams conspicuously missing from the first round of names — a veritable who’s who in the Democratic Party, according to the list of 36 names published by Axios — was probably impossible to ignore for anyone who’s been paying attention to this election cycle.
Abrams has been described as nothing less than Democratic royalty and even delivered the Party’s rebuttal to Donald Trump‘s State of the Union address last year. She was reportedly hand-picked by to deliver that response by none other than Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the influential Party veteran who has secured his own speaking spot at the DNC, which is being held remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The list was released hours before Biden announced he had chosen Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate. Other names left off the list included people who were also under consideration by Biden, including Rep. Karen Bass and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Their names could have been left off so as not to play spoiler for Biden’s pick.
On the flip side, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who were reportedly finalists being considered for VP by Biden, were both listed as speakers on separate days at the DNC.
For her part, Abrams didn’t give any public reaction to the perceived snub. That stood in stark contrast to entrepreneur and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who tweeted that he was surprised at being left off the list of DNC speakers.
When contacted for comment, Abrams’ Fair Fight organization referred questions about the DNC to the Biden campaign, which did not immediately respond to an e-mailed inquiry.
Social media was replete with posts lamenting about Abrams’ perceived exclusion from the DNC.
To be sure, Yang may have been running for president, but it was Abrams’ name that was consistently ringing bells whenever the conversation turned to the topic of vice-presidential candidates regardless of who would ultimately become the Party’s nominee.
It wasn’t until seemingly these past few months that Abrams’ name was replaced by others on Biden’s reported short-lists of people he was considering to be his vice president. In the end, Biden decided to choose Harris as his running mate, a widely lauded choice by many, including Abrams herself.
In her tweet congratulating them, Abrams said she spoke with Biden “at length over the weekend and again today.”
Abrams’ omission from the first cut of DNC speakers’ names also placed the focus on people who were listed, including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican.
The DNC is scheduled to be held over the course of four days beginning Monday and ending with Biden accepting the Party’s nomination on the night of Aug. 20.