WASHINGTON—Expressing a mixture of shame and confusion over her recent selection by Democrats to deliver their party’s official State of the Union response, Stacey Abrams wondered Tuesday exactly when she should confess to party leaders that she had lost her election. “I just got so wrapped up in the excitement over the shutdown and the scheduling of the address itself that I didn’t think to mention that I hadn’t been elected,” the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate said regarding her unexpected Democratic rising star status after her loss to Republican Brian Kemp by a 1.4 percentage point margin last November. “Everyone has been saying such nice things, congratulating me, shaking my hand. I tried to tell [Speaker of the House Nancy] Pelosi, but she just smiled and said ‘Nice work,’ so eventually I just played along with the governor thing. Everyone’s going to be so disappointed.” At press time, Abrams reportedly came to the conclusion that perhaps, if she did a good enough job, whether she’d won or lost wouldn’t even matter.