Stacey Abrams, the women who fought hard against some serious voter suppression in Georgia’s race for governor and won the hearts of millions despite an ultimate loss, was chosen this year to give the Democratic response to Trump’s State of the Union address. Her delivery is being called “presidential” by many who watched.
Abrams delivered her response with a refreshingly genuine passion after an hour and 20 minutes of Trump trotting out veterans, Holocaust survivors, and little girls who had just beaten cancer for claps. She began by calling out Trump on the government shutdown, which broke the record for longest shutdown in U.S. history over a big wall. She called the whole affair a “disgrace” and accused Trump of pulling a “stunt” that included using federal workers, and their ability to pay rent and eat, as pawns in his political game.
“The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States"
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 6, 2019
She went on to address a number of topics that Trump ignored, including the massive number of Americans who, despite having jobs, are living paycheck to paycheck. She also touched on climate change, school shootings, family separation and caged children at the border, the wealth gap, racial justice, and LGBTQ issues. Instead of calling for “school choice,” a trend that is increasing racial and economic segregation in the country, she demanded quality education for all and an end to massive student loan debt.
Rather than focusing on imaginary threats like immigrant boogeymen, Stacey Abrams addressed actual one of the biggest threats to our democracy: Voter suppression.
Stacey Abrams: “Let's be clear: Voter suppression is real. From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy.” #SOTU https://t.co/OTAqkas3x8 pic.twitter.com/Bcx4VE7ujo
— CNN (@CNN) February 6, 2019
Perhaps the best part of Abrams’ speech was her moving appeal for working together as people, which blew away Trump’s vague list of platitudes that was supposed to be a call for unity. She spoke of her experience in politics in Georgia, perhaps providing more evidence that she’s President material?
“So, when we had to negotiate criminal justice reform or transportation or foster care improvements, the leaders of our state didn’t shut down – we came together,” she said. “And we kept our word.”
Stacey Abrams masterfully proved that you can talk about unity and crossing party lines without being needlessly conciliatory or failing to hold folks accountable. She’s too good for this world, man. #DemocraticResponse #STACEYOFOURUNION
— Jamilah the Millennial (@JamilahLemieux) February 6, 2019
Abrams also directly called out Mitch McConnell’s recent comments on a bill that would make Election Day in the U.S. a national holiday so that more people could have the day off to vote. The Senate Majority Leader somehow made the case that helping people vote is a “power grab.” Abrams disagreed.
“We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a ‘power grab.’ Americans understand that these are the values our brave men and women in uniform and our veterans risk their lives to defend. The foundation of our moral leadership around the globe is free and fair elections, where voters pick their leaders – not where politicians pick their voters.”
So much better than exploiting veterans for claps. Also, remember when Mitch McConnell’s response to Obama’s SOTU was: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for Obama to be a one-term president”? Woke Sloth remembers.
Abrams’ speech was so good even Fox News commentators were fawning over her. Twitter has been left in awe.
After that speech, don't let another damn pundit claim Stacey Abrams didn't get the job done in Georgia. You just saw what everyone in Georgia saw. In a conservative state, she was so good that only a massive voter suppression effort was able to stop her.#SOTU
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) February 6, 2019
I remember watching Obama's 2004 DNC speech and thinking "if we can just make it through these next few years, the cavalry is coming."
I haven't felt that way again until I watched that Stacey Abrams speech.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) February 6, 2019
Stacey Abrams is talking about an America that actually exists.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) February 6, 2019
STACEY ABRAMS SAID REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE!!!
— Renee Bracey Sherman (@RBraceySherman) February 6, 2019
— deray (@deray) February 6, 2019
Stacey Abrams compassionately acknowledged the pain and suffering of the 800,000 furloughed federal workers and tens of thousand of federal contractors affected by the Trump shutdown, something the President of the United States never did in his #SOTU speech. https://t.co/N0JJ2uWjrh
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 6, 2019
Stacey Abrams is a leader because, in the face of a loss due to a broken system, she chose to fight to change it rather than just blame it. This is how we build a true democracy. #AbramsResponse #AbramsAddress
— Joelle Gamble (@joelle_gamble) February 6, 2019
If you are watching Stacey Abrams right now, you can clearly see why she was asked to deliver the Democratic rebuttal. She’s actually speaking of an America that exists and of the real problems we face. She is demolishing the 1 hour wordsalad. 👊
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) February 6, 2019
Our future depends on leaders like Stacey Abrams continuing to speak truth to power. Really hope I get the chance to vote for her one day.
— Leslie Grossman (@MissLeslieG) February 6, 2019
When Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer remind us 2-3 times that Stacey Abrams lost but forget to mention the part about rampant voter suppression and the opponent who oversaw the election. #SOTUResponse
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) February 6, 2019
I will vote for Stacey Abrams for anything, simply because she just used the grammatically correct plural, "attorneys general." #SOTU
— Eric Kleefeld (@EricKleefeld) February 6, 2019
Stacey Abrams for Senate or president or emperor or honestly whatever she damn pleases.
— Amanda Litman (@amandalitman) February 6, 2019
— Terrell J. Starr (@Russian_Starr) February 6, 2019
Stacey Abrams was like a sorbet of goodness and hope, washing away the bitter taste of divisiveness and narcissism.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) February 6, 2019
Watching Stacey Abrams right now looking presidential as hell. pic.twitter.com/5HerLvhBUP
— X (@XLNB) February 6, 2019
“The rebuttal from Abrams was anything but a hollow call for unity,” @ryanbort writes. “The longtime Georgia lawmaker drew on her own experience to drive home a need to reach across the aisle in the name what she sees as non-negotiable American values.” https://t.co/pSTjBQqGrN
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) February 6, 2019
Stacey Abrams is ripping Trump to shreds. And it’s exactly what he deserves.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 6, 2019
Some right-wingers were, however, apparently unhappy that Abrams’ speech was an appropriate length instead of an hour and 20 minutes of everything we’ve heard before inflated by 50 unnecessary standing ovations from Republicans.
"America is awful and racist and also Trump is a liar" – Stacey Abrams in her incredibly creative and original 5 minute response to the #SOTU
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) February 6, 2019
Someone’s feeling threatened!
And for good reason.
Stacey Abrams has recognized more valid American pain points in the first few minutes of her speech than the gop has done in 10 years
— Preeti Chhibber (@runwithskizzers) February 6, 2019