There are scandals from which even the weakest campaign for elective officer recovers. This is not one of them.
Tara Reade, a former Biden staffer, has come forward with the accusation that the former senator from Delaware sexually assaulted him in 1993. In an interview with The Nation’s Katie Halper, the audio of which appears below.
In it, Reade claims that she was asked to take the senator’s gym bag to the Capitol, where he greeted her in a “side area.” “We were alone and it was the strangest thing,” she submits. “There was no, like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall” and his “hands were on me and underneath my clothes.”
It was a hot day and Reade recalls that she was wearing a skirt with no stockings. “He went down my skirt but then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers,” Reade goes on to assert.
This is not the first time Biden has been accused of getting a little “too familiar” with women. In April 2019, Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores told New York magazine:
I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself … “[W]hat in the actual f***? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?” He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. … I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me.
In fairness to Biden, Flores went on to soften her account, telling MSNBC that she doesn’t believe his intentions were bad. “I’m not in any way suggesting that I felt sexually assaulted or sexually harassed. I felt invaded. I felt there was a violation of my personal space.”
Then again, she is a Democrat, who at the time of her New York magazine interview was running for lieutenant governor. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that she was pressured by party higher-ups to recant.
Whatever the case, Biden will get his chance to tell his side of the story, though he faces an uphill battle. During the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, he said:
For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.
Shorter Biden: When in doubt, believe the woman who claims she’s been raped. Will that philosophy now apply to his accuser, or is he somehow a special case?