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Don Lemon Grills Stacey Abrams on Joe Biden Sexual Assault Allegation

Don Lemon Grills Stacey Abrams on Joe Biden Sexual Assault AllegationStacey Abrams has made her ambition to be Joe Biden’s running mate abundantly clear over the last couple of weeks. And to that end, she offered the presumptive Democratic nominee her unwavering support when questioned by CNN’s Don Lemon about the sexual assault allegation against Biden on Tuesday night.  “As someone who wants to be his vice president, I think it’s important that we speak about something that’s in the news now,” Lemon said near the end of his conversation with the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, before laying out the details of Tara Reade’s claim. “CNN has now spoken on the record with her former neighbor who says Reade told her about the allegation within a few years of the alleged incident,” Lemon said. “Biden’s campaign says untrue, never happened. Is this a credible allegation?” “I believe that women deserve to be heard and I believe that they need to be listened to,” Abrams said carefully. “But I also believe that those allegations have to be investigated by credible sources.” She cited an in-depth New York Times investigation that found the accusation was “not credible,” though new information has emerged in the two weeks since it was published. “I believe Joe Biden,” Abrams said. “I believe that he is a person who has demonstrated that his love of family, his love of our community, has been made perfectly clear through his work as a congressional leader and as an American leader. I know Joe Biden and I think he's telling the truth and that this did not happen.” With her conclusion, Abrams appeared to be parroting official Biden campaign talking points, which read, in part, “Biden believes that all women have the right to be heard and to have their claims thoroughly reviewed. In this case, a thorough review by the New York Times has led to the truth: this incident did not happen.”Stephen Colbert Grills Bernie Sanders: Are You Endorsing Biden or Not?Lemon could have left things there, but instead he confronted Abrams with a tweet she posted in 2018 that condemned Senate Republicans for “rushing” Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation forward despite the “courageous and compelling testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.” “Are you applying a different standard now?” Lemon asked. “Not at all,” Abrams replied. “I believed then and I believe now that women deserve to be heard because too often they are not. And Tara Reade deserved to have her story listened to and investigated. What was happening with Christine Blasey Ford was there there was no investigation. There was a rush to move it forward so no investigation was conducted.” “So you said you’ve heard her, you’ve heard enough, you don’t believe her, you believe Joe Biden,” Lemon said.After once again returning to the Times investigation, Abrams said, “I believe the Biden I know. And I think he will make women proud, that he will make America proud.” Asked if Biden needs to “address this more directly and more publicly,” Abrams said, “I believe his campaign has been very clear. And I believe that is the approach that they intend to take and I support the approach. “We don’t want women to ever be afraid to come forward,” she concluded. “But we also have to recognize that allegations should be investigated and that those investigations need to be borne out.” Anderson Cooper Dumbfounded by Trump’s ‘Sarcasm’ Excuse: Does He Think We’re ‘Morons’Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Stacey Abrams Is the Only Vice Presidential Pick for Joe Biden. Here’s Why.

Stacey Abrams Is the Only Vice Presidential Pick for Joe Biden. Here’s Why.Joe Biden pledged he would choose a woman as his running mate, and that woman needs to be Stacey Abrams.The road to the White House for Democrats only exists with the support and excitement of black voters—black female voters to be specific. Just ask Bernie Sanders. He thought he could carve a path to the nomination without overwhelming support among the Democratic base—black voters. He was wrong.Sure, other Democratic voters matter. Lots of ink has been spilled about the importance of “suburban” Democratic voters, read white voters, even though blacks have been moving to the suburbs at great rates as they’ve been pushed out of cities for years now. However, any viable Democratic strategy rests on the active participation and interest of diverse groups of black voters.Biden made a promise to select a female running mate, a declarative statement some feel may have painted the former veep into a corner. There are several qualified women on the Democratic bench, but only Abrams can deliver the significant number of black voters across the United States to galvanize the base and articulate a clear vision. Several women are qualified to assist Biden in the governance phase of a possible Biden presidency, but only Abrams assists fully with the two-stage process of a successful Democratic presidency– campaigning and then governance. I don’t think Democrats want or need another Tim Kaine moment. That is, selecting a running mate who would be fine for governing but brings relatively little to the ticket during the campaign stage. Kaine would have served the nation dutifully, and he possessed the intellect to assist Hillary Clinton in White House strategic matters. However, the lack of excitement about Kaine and his inability to connect with the Democratic base was yet another Achilles heel for the Clinton campaign.The 2020 election season is already unprecedented, and now more than ever, Biden needs to select a running mate who has the gift of reaching diverse demographics of voters and connecting with them on a myriad of levels. He needs a storyteller, a leader, a robust fundraiser, and a running mate who can contextualize the past and present and present a clear outline for the future. Anyone who has heard Abrams speak for more than five minutes is sold on her policy acumen and her ability to present realistic solutions to decades-long problems pertaining to the institution of poverty, criminal justice, and economic exclusion. As more Americans find themselves slipping out of their tenuous middle-class identity, Biden needs a partner who can lay out arguments in a way that is accessible, realistic, compassionate, and policy-driven.The Democrats have not shown their eagerness for innovation in this presidential cycle. The overwhelming Democratic primary support for Biden is a clear indication that a majority of Democratic voters who bothered to participate are not willing to dramatically change course. However, Biden cannot afford to isolate and alienate the more progressive wing of Democratic voters or voters who are concerned that this septuagenarian may need some critical assistance galvanizing Democratic voters and delivering a hybrid of Democratic policy needs and desires. It is imperative Biden choose someone with leadership experience who can explain to voters the values and ideals of the Democratic Party. Let’s actually discuss Abrams’ qualifications, since many believe the only viable candidates for the presidency or vice presidency should be sitting governors or senators. There has been a desire for Biden to choose a running mate with “executive experience.” To that I would ask that we dissect the type of executive experience we are looking for. As I wrote about Abrams previously for The Daily Beast, she was a Truman Scholar and received her law degree at Yale. She was elected to the Georgia state house in 2006 and began serving as House Democratic leader in 2011. She’s been a trailblazer and visionary rolled into one. When she saw that 800,000 people of color in Georgia were not registered to vote, she launched the New Georgia Project, registering more than 200,000 Georgians in just two years. When she noticed there was a dearth of businesses run by women and people of color, she and a friend launched the NOW Account, a program to help small businesses grow and spur innovation in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, creating and maintaining over 2,000 jobs from over 350 small businesses in Georgia.In a post-COVID America, Biden will need a right hand who can assist him in thinking of the economics of the working class and formerly middle class. He will also need someone who has experience with innovation rooted in empathy. As the current administration has made abundantly clear, cruelty and personal financial gain is the foundation of the vast majority of their policy decisions. He also needs a veep who can unite the party, someone who can galvanize the more progressive wing of the party concerned with issues like criminal justice and the environment.During the 2018 campaign, Abrams and her team built an extensive grassroots campaign strategy that extended across the 159 counties in Georgia and included the highest rates of youth and Latino participation the state had ever seen. Since the election, Abrams and her team launched Fair Fight, an organization dedicated to litigation, legislation, and advocacy in order to support voter-protection programs at state parties around the country. The oft-repeated question surrounding Abrams’ qualifications often relates to concerns pertaining to Biden’s age and Abrams’ ability to step up and step in if the moment arises. To answer those questions, I would say that if you doubt Abrams’ qualifications I might ask what exactly you are looking for in a candidate. Abrams has a successful record in business, nonprofits, leadership, governance, and policy innovation. And we must not forget grassroots organizing and mutli-ethnic and multi-generational coalition building. In a post-COVID world, the traditional résumé of a candidate is outdated. Critics also question how Abrams will poll nationally. If her ability to fundraise across the country and connect with young voters and voters of color in her various voter-mobilization organizational efforts are any indication, Biden should do all he can to secure Abrams as his No. 2. And let’s be honest, if the 2018 Georgia governors’ race was not hijacked by Brian Kemp, there would be no question as to whether Abrams should be the Democratic nominee for vice president, or even president. American democracy cannot afford another 2016 election, when, for example, black voters in Michigan were so uninspired they either stayed home or decided to vote down ballot and ignore the top of the ticket. The democracy cannot afford a party that is not equipped to address the rampant voter suppression and disenfranchisement efforts affecting marginalized communities in states across the nation. For the past two years, Abrams and Fair Fight have been dedicated to mitigating the rampant voter-suppression efforts in states across the country. There are several sitting elected officials who are talented and have bright futures ahead of them. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, and Rep. Val Demings of Florida all come to mind. However, none of these women can galvanize the type of base Biden needs for success. None possess the multiple skill sets to simultaneously galvanize the progressive wing of the party, the South, and the black base. Sure, some may wonder if Abrams can deliver since she did not win her home state of Georgia when she ran for governor in 2018 against a sitting secretary of state who controlled the electoral ballots and the entire voting process. Even with almost 2 million votes and the highest Democratic turnout in modern history, Abrams was not able to win the game against Brian Kemp, who served as her opponent, the referee, the judge, and the man in charge of the equipment. There is no need to relitigate that shameful display of democracy stolen. If you truly believe Kemp is the rightful recipient of the Georgia governor’s seat, I have several bridges to sell you. Venmo me. Now is not the time for a safety pick. If we know black voters will be the deciding factor in several swing states, it is imperative Biden have a running mate who can inspire and motivate Democratic voters to turn out on Nov. 3 and assist in governance every day after that.Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, political editor at The Grio, the author of Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream, and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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John Boyega Jokes J.J. Abrams Needs to Get Over ‘Skywalker’ Script on eBay

John Boyega’s not dwelling on his epic screw-up that resulted in the “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” script landing on eBay — and he’s urging the film’s director to let it go too. We got John — AKA Finn in the latest ‘Star Wars’ trilogy –…

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