Nearly 1,500 black women at the 2019 Women of Power Summit rejoiced when Stacey Abrams revealed that she has her eyes set on the White House. The former Georgia gubernatorial candidate spoke candidly about her political ambitions at the women’s leadership conference during a fireside chat with Caroline V. Clarke, the Women of Power chief brand officer. When asked about her 10-year plan, Abrams revealed that she has been adjusting her goals on a spreadsheet that she originally created when she was a teenager, and it includes a run for president.
“Run, Stacey, run”
“I did a spreadsheet when I was 18 that took me to the age of 64, no, 68,” said the former Georgia House Minority Leader. “There’s this job in D.C. that looks really good,” she continued as the crowd erupted in cheer. “Run, Stacey, run!” yelled one woman from the audience.
Abrams, who made history as the first black woman to deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union, went on to condemn the idea that people should not vocalize their political aspirations. “You are taught in politics that it is unseemly to declare ambition. I think that’s stupid,” she said blatantly. “It’s one of the ways that we diminish [one’s] agency, especially black women.” She added, “if you don’t declare what you want, how are you ever going to get there?”
Although Abrams didn’t specifically state when she plans to launch her bid for the Oval Office, she suggested that she will run for other offices first.
“I would love to be president of the United States one day, but, for me, there are other jobs that I want,” she said. “Having this ultimate goal does not diminish the credibility or the urgency or the sincerity of the other jobs I want to have. I got a little bit of flack the first time that someone learned that, as a politician, I might want the top job.” However, she compared her drive to the average worker who strives to one day run an entire company. “No one would ever look at the person who’s the secretary who says. ‘I want to be CEO,’ and [say], ‘don’t you dare have that ambition.’”
Initially, Abrams did not envision herself running the country due to the lack of black women in politics. However, she was inspired after Shirley Clarke Franklin won the office of mayor of Atlanta, which widened the realm of possibility for Abrams as a black woman. “I saw more achievement possible,” she said. “I knew that Shirley Chisholm had run for president, but I also knew that she was not successful—but it was worth the idea.”
Abrams was thrust into the national spotlight during her 2018 campaign for governor. She lost the election to Republican Brain Kemp but refused to concede, alleging that Kemp stole the election through voter suppression. “I’m still sad. I’m still angry. I don’t know if there’s enough therapy or Xanax to get over it,” Abrams joked at another point during her session. “I didn’t lose. I just didn’t get to be governor.”
Despite being a political powerhouse, Abrams admitted that she struggles in other areas of her life. “I’m terrible at dating,” she said, adding that she’s not good at making money either. In an April 2018 op-ed, she professed to owing $50,000 in back taxes and $170,000 in credit card and student loan debt.
Watch the video clip below.