POLITICAL POWERHOUSE
YOU South Africa|20 May 2021
Stacey Abrams is known for getting things done – it may be thanks to her that Joe Biden is president
JANE VORSTER

SHE was only 18 and it felt as if her world had been kicked out from under her. Stacey Abrams was getting her first taste of heartache: her boyfriend, Chad, told her he no longer wanted to go out with her.

But rather than wallowing in a pity fest, Stacey did something that helped put the break-up into perspective. She headed over to her college computer lab and spent the evening painstakingly mapping out the next 40 years of her life.

She put it all on a spreadsheet, all the things she planned to achieve without him – from studying law to making her mark in the world of politics and writing bestselling novels. Looking back now, getting her heart broken might have been the best thing that ever happened to Stacey (47). She’s the first to admit if it hadn’t been for heartless Chad, she might not be where she is today.

According to Forbes magazine, she’s one of the most powerful women in the world and she’s been hailed as America’s most influential black voice. Queen of Talk Oprah Winfrey, musician John Legend and former president Barack Obama are among her most ardent fans, while the current incumbent of the White House, Joe Biden, makes no secret of the fact that, if it weren’t for her monumental efforts, he might not have beaten Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election.

It’s hard to overstate the role she played in helping the Democrats win. While Trump played the victim, claiming the election was “stolen”, Stacey has genuinely experienced how it feels to be cheated of victory – there’s evidence to suggest she may have lost out on the chance to be governor of Georgia back in 2018 because of dubious tactics employed by her opponent.

And she was determined she wasn’t going to stand by and let it happen again. On top of working tirelessly to ensure hundreds of thousands of black voters who’d been stripped of their right to vote were reregistered, she used her considerable clout to ensure that when they went to the polls, they voted for Biden.

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