Tonight, Stacey Abrams will be giving the Democrats’ official response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union. You can watch the response on live stream (and later on a rewatchable full video) via the video above. This video is from C-SPAN, and will start out with Trump’s speech, followed immediately by the Democrats’ response. Trump’s speech will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern and is expected to last no longer than 90 minutes, but likely closer to an hour. The Democrats’ response will begin shortly after Trump’s speech ends. That means you should keep a close eye on this video sometime around 10 p.m. Eastern just so you don’t miss anything. The video will be fully replayable after the response ends.
Many are excited to see Stacey Abrams’ response. She’s the first African-American woman to ever give a formal response to a President’s address, ABC News reported. She was also the first African-American woman nominated for governor by a major political party.
She recently ran for governor of Georgia and lost in a close and hotly contested race in November. She lost to Republican Brian Kemp by about 1.4 percentage points, The Washington Times shared. In November, after contesting the election for about two weeks in hopes of forcing a runoff, she ended her race, but never technically conceded, CNN reported. She said at the time that she planned a federal lawsuit against Georgia for “gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections…” She also emphasized that she wasn’t technically conceding:
So let’s be clear — this is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that. But, my assessment is the law currently allows no further viable remedy. Now, I can certainly bring a new case to keep this one contest alive, but I don’t want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post. Because the title of governor isn’t nearly as important as our shared title — voters. And that is why we fight on.
The election was the subject of much controversy and claims that Kemp was suppressing votes. Brian Kemp was Georgia’s Secretary of State, which essentially put him in charge of an election that he was running in. He made a number of decisions during the campaign that many called into question, including posting an Excel file online which shared the personal details of nearly 300,000 absentee voters, including why they voted absentee, TechCrunch reported.
Many see her as a voice of hope for the party’s future. Rep. Ayanna Pressley told ABC News: “I know there were some headlines that characterized her as the future of the Democratic Party. In my estimate, she is the present and the future. She’s shaping the future.”
She’s already gotten advice from others who gave their parties’ responses. Joe Kennedy, who gave the Democrats’ response last year, warned her to expect Trump’s address to go long. Last year, Trump gave the third-longest SOTU speech in history.
And Marco Rubio good-naturedly reminded her to stay hydrated, since the amount of water he drank during his speech was the subject of memes long after his speech ended.
Abrams tweeted thanks for the advice.