Stacey Abrams 'Thinking About' Running for White House': 'I Was the First Woman to Lead a Party in the History of Georgia'

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee in Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial election, said she was "thinking about" throwing her hat into the increasingly crowded ring for the 2020 presidential race.

Asked during an interview with MSNBC whether she was considering making a run for the White House, Abrams, who recently published a book, Lead From the Outside, said: "I am thinking about it. I truly am."

Abrams, who had served as the minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives for six years before she ran for governor, said that before she could make a final decision on whether to set her sights on the White House, she had another decision to make: whether to run for the U.S. Senate.

"I do think you cannot run for an office unless you know that's the job you want to do," Abrams said. "I don't think you use an office as a stepping stone. So my first responsibility is to determine whether a Senate run is next for me and then the next conversation for myself will be if not the Senate, then what else?"

"What else" could end up being the presidency, of course, but Abrams said that she had no plans to rush her decision.

"I don't think you actually have to make a decision about the White House before the fall," she said.

Asked whether she was concerned about how crowded the 2020 Democratic presidential race had already become, with a number of high-profile candidates already in the running, including Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and former Representative Beto O'Rourke, Abrams said she wasn't worried about the potential competition.

"You have to remember in '92 you had 19 people running at some point," she said, adding that in the beginning, Bill Clinton was far from being at the top of the list of most likely candidates for the top job.

Thanks to her previous experience running campaigns, Abrams said: "I understand that running for office means, can you amass the resources, can you organize the people and do you have a credible platform that can resonate, and I don't believe there is an imperative to do so before September."

If she does enter the race, however, Abrams said it would be because she believes she has a solid plan to win it.

"To suggest that I'm going to run if I haven't figured out how I'm going to win, that makes no sense," she said. "I don't think running for office is a vanity exercise."

"If you're gonna run you need to be ready to win, and I tend to operate both sequentially and in parallel, so I'm thinking about everything but, for me, the responsible duty is to first decide if the Senate is the right job because that is, I think, the most immediate question," Abrams said.

On Lead from the Outside, Abrams said her new book "began as a how-to guide.

"I was getting lots of questions from students and from women's groups and communities of color about how I'd made it into the role that I had as Democratic leader. I was the first woman to lead a party in the history of Georgia, the first African American to lead in the House.

"I was giving a series of speeches. I was talking to people and finally, I thought, let me just write it down. I didn't want to write a memoir, because I did not think that I had the sufficient life history to warrant a memoir," she said. "So, what I tried to do is a hybrid: tell my story but use it as an exercise in how do you do things better, how do you understand the mistakes that you made.

"The first chapter is about 'dare to be ambitious.' I want people to understand that ambition, especially for people from the outside, is critical because if you can't dream about what you want and plan for it, it will never come to fruition," Abrams said.

Earlier this week, Abrams made it clear that becoming president was one of her personal ambitions.

Abrams teased a potential presidential run on CBS's Late Night With Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, confirming that running for president was on what Colbert called her "Excel spreadsheet of life goals."

While she said it was on her list of goals, Abrams said she was "not willing to declare anything." At least not for now.

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Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks at the National Action Network's annual convention, April 3, in New York City. Abrams has said she was "thinking about" running for president in 2020. Drew Angerer/Getty
Stacey Abrams 'Thinking About' Running for White House': 'I Was the First Woman to Lead a Party in the History of Georgia' | U.S.