Watching Stacey Abrams School Meghan McCain in Real Time Is Great TV

Is ABC’s The View strictly about drama between hosts or a program featuring successful women discussing issues of the day? In the original conception of Barbara Walters, debate among bright women of different generations was the concept.

On a good day (usually when Whoopi Goldberg is at table), you might get a decent conversation of the point-counterpoint variety. When things go off the rails, you’ll find Joy Behar knocking around Meghan McCain for interrupting segments and/or pouting when Joy tells her to stop.

But McCain doesn’t just hear it from other View co-hosts. Sometimes, as when Washington Governor Jay Inslee visited recently, the show’s guest of the day will take McCain to task for coming to work with empty talking-points.

At these moments, The View becomes great TV. On March 27, when potential 2020 candidate Stacey Abrams dropped by, it got even better. Abrams had no trouble schooling McCain and Abby Huntsman on the issues of the day.

McCain was surprised to learn the Mueller report hadn’t been released.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck is the guest today, Tuesday, March 26, 2019 on ABC’s “The View.” | Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images

Abrams, who delivered the Democratic Party’s State of the Union response and recently published a book, has a way with words. When she saw Attorney General Barr’s summary of the Mueller report no one’s seen, her response cut though the noise.

“It’s like your brother summarizing your report card to your parents,” she quipped. Joy did Abrams the favor of reading that line as she introduced a View segment on the Mueller report. Soon enough, McCain jumped into the fray.

“Every Democrat said ‘Wait for the Mueller report,’ and now it comes out. And it seems like Democrats don’t like the results so [they’re] not accepting the results of the Mueller report,” McCain said.

Though McCain tried to interrupt, Abrams had a correction to make:

We don’t know the results of the Mueller report. We know the results of the summary of a reading of the report by a partisan who was just appointed by the person who is the subject of the report.

As applause came from the crowd, you could hear Huntsman squeal in protest in the background. But McCain had more to say. “They came out and Mueller said that there was no collusion, definitively. So you don’t accept there was no collusion.”

“But the Mueller report was not simply about collusion,” Abrams replied. “That was a pundit summary of a complicated question, which happened preceding the 2016 election. I don’t know the answer because I haven’t seen the report.”

Abrams also pushed back on a few Huntsman talking-points.

Former Georgia gubernatorial Candidate Stacy Abrams thanks her campaign supporters in Albany, Georgia on January 21, 2019. | Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

During Abrams’s appearance, Huntsman started the segment by talking about Democrats’ investigations and reliance on identity politics. “You talk to voters in Georgia. They care about their life every day,” Huntsman said. “What advice do you have for Democrats maybe missing the connection?”

“I don’t think they’re missing the connection,” Abrams said. “And I want to push back on the identity-politics narrative. Identity politics means, ‘Yes I want healthcare but I need you to understand why am I not getting it.'”

She continued:

Am I not getting [healthcare] because I live in a rural community where you don’t invest in it? Or am I not getting because I’m a black woman and maternal mortality is not near the top of the list (and that’s why black women are the most likely to die giving birth)?

“Identity is simply saying ‘I see you, and I see the obstacles to you getting the things all of us want: health care, economic security, educational opportunity,'” Abrams said.

Is any presidential candidate as articulate or thoughtful or as talented a speaker as Abrams? No. Unfortunately, she hasn’t announced she’s even running.

But when you match her against the young, conservative hosts of The View, it’s not even close to a fair fight.

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