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Tara Reade could save the Democratic Party.
Reade, a former aide for then-Sen. Joe Biden, has accused the presumed Democrat candidate of sexual assault. Evidence has surfaced that appears to bolster Reade’s allegations.
In this #MeToo era, Democrat officials could use that accusation to get Uncle Joe to withdraw from the race.
Why would that be good for Democrats? Because they know that Biden is a weak candidate who may be suffering cognitive decline and is not likely to beat President Trump in November. The inability of the former vice president to reliably string two sentences together is alarming and will only become more evident as the months pass.
Currently, the Biden camp is keeping the candidate under wraps, even as they try to keep him in the game, a difficult balancing act with the former veep holed up in his basement. The ever-helpful New York Times just ran an extensive puff piece about Biden; shockingly, the “campaign declined to make him available for an interview.” What Democrat candidate turns down the chance to speak to the Times?
Democrats are not only concerned about Biden’s penchant for spewing meaningless word salads. It is also because his candidacy suffers a huge enthusiasm gap, and is also way behind on fund-raising.
By sidelining Biden, Dems could re-up their commitment to #MeToo, find themselves a better candidate, and simultaneously save themselves from a colossal defeat in November. A win-win.
Admittedly, it would be messy. But not any messier than Democrats being squashed in the Electoral College.
Tara Reade worked as an aide in Biden’s office in the 1990s. Last year she joined numerous other women who publicly accused Biden of inappropriate physical contact.
More recently, Reade has expanded her accusation to include an encounter in which Biden “had me up against the wall; he used his knee to spread open my legs,[and] put his fingers inside me.”
Reade says she called her mother that night to tell her about the incident; her mom insisted she tell the police, which she did not do. However, her mother apparently reached out for advice on how her daughter should handle the matter.
A 1993 video has just surfaced that appears to show Larry King receiving a call from Jeanette Altimus, Reade’s mother, who asked “what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington?” She adds, “My daughter has just left there after working for a prominent senator… and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.”
The liberal media has naturally tried to minimize coverage of the Reade accusation; she leveled the charge on March 25, but most major news outlets ignored it until April 12, fully 19 days later.
Reade has confirmed the voice to be that of her mother, who has since died, and the location of the caller matches her mother’s address at the time.
One of Reade’s friends and her brother confirm hearing about the incident at the time; another was told a few years later. In other words, there is a more credible history here than presented by Christine Blasey Ford when she famously accused Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh of assault. Ford’s friend denied ever hearing about the supposed encounter; in fact, not a single soul could back up her story.
Biden’s office and his apparatchiks deny Reade’s accusation.
The liberal media has naturally tried to minimize coverage of the Reade accusation; she leveled the charge on March 25, but most major news outlets ignored it until April 12, fully 19 days later. Criticized over the delay, the New York Times’ editor Dean Baquet explained that the paper wanted to have enough information about the charge that readers could “understand” the story.
But the Times even edited its own story about Reade. It originally reported that, “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” In later editions it dropped the last (and most damaging) part of the sentence.
Baquet explained, “The campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct.” Since when do newspapers run a story by a “campaign” for approval?
Nonetheless, the new video has given Reade’s allegations new legs. In part, that is because Joe Biden has a troubling history of inappropriately touching women – a record his backers ascribe to his “folksy” manner and old-fashioned “tactile” politics.
But, one also wonders whether Democrats are beginning to face up to what many have seen for months: Biden is not a strong candidate.
Faced with the very real prospect of Bernie Sanders becoming their standard-bearer, Democrats panicked and rallied around Biden. President Obama’s former wingman has consistently polled ahead of Donald Trump in national surveys, and currently leads the president by roughly 6 points, according to Real Clear Politics.
However the polling in critical swing states like Michigan and Florida tells a different story. In those surveys, Biden leads Trump, but his margin is only about half that held by Hillary Clinton at the same time in 2016.
Recently, some have proposed that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has won plaudits for his (questionable) handling of the coronavirus crisis, might be a better choice than Biden. A poll found 56 percent of voters would choose to make that swap, over 44 percent content to stay with Biden.
Sanders, who still controls his delegates, would fight to prevent such a handoff. With numerous primaries yet to come, Sanders could theoretically re-enter the race.
Bottom line: the Milwaukee convention could still offer up some surprises. And, Joe Biden is not the candidate yet. If Democrats want to win, he never will be.