Tara Reade is not Only a Challenge for Joe Biden -- Campaign Grapples with Running Mate Selections Who Have to Navigate a #MeToo Minefield

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

 

The problem they all thought would dissipate has now created a fog over the campaign.

It took a long time in the making but we are finally seeing signs that the media is deciding it needs to do its job regarding sexual assault allegations leveled against Joe Biden. It could be a combination of prior comments on believing all women coming back to haunt, or there is a concerted effort behind the scenes at the DNC to begin greasing the skids to ease a very flawed candidate from his spot at the top of the party ticket.

Mika Brzezinski delivered some significant shocks this morning when she had Joe Biden on her MSNBC program and grilled the former Vice President over the allegations made by his former staffer, Tara Reade. Mika coming in hard comes on the heels of fellow network pundit Chris Hayes also taking a firm stance on the issue, a surprising turnaround when for weeks we have seen the media work ardently on avoiding the story entirely.

As detailed in Politico, the Tara Reade story is more than potential damage for Biden himself. His campaign is currently going through the process of vetting potential candidates to be his Vice Presidential running mate, and those are presenting some issues. While all the sources would not speak on the record, Politico says it took comments from people working with four potential names the campaign is considering, and they all expressed the challenge being faced as a result of the allegations.

The first issue is that Biden has pledged to choose a female to join him on the ticket. This alone carries a significant challenge, as a woman will need to walk the tightrope of not dismissing a potential victim while also touting the merits of the man accused. Further, is the fact that some of the names possibly looked at took very vocal stances on the matter of believing an assault allegation during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process.

Kamala Harris especially is vulnerable in this regard, as she was nearly militant in her support of the testimony from Kristine Blasey-Ford. How can she massage the message today that Tara Reade is not to be granted the same level of support. Likewise Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar will have to account for their prior stances and have those juxtaposed with Read’s testimony. Even longshot contender Stacey Abrams trips over her strident position on the matter with Kavanaugh, as our Sister Toldja mentioned on Wednesday.

One detail that is lightly touched on, but drills into the heart of any prior commentary by these hopefuls, is the timing of the alleged assaults. With Kavanaugh he was deemed guilty over nebulous claims regarding his activities in highschool., leading to farcical stretches of logic like pouring over yearbook entries and questioning specifics of teenage beer drinking games. Biden’s allegations revolve around his Senatorial career, and potential actions undertaken as an adult, in a professional political setting.

How will any of these female candidates sidestep the fact that they had loudly declared that the actions of someone in highschool disqualified them from a higher political office, but then excuse the same level of accusations leveled at an adult politician? If the actions of a pre-professional teenager can be said to be nullifying then a sitting senator with a similar charge to his name has to be considered far worse, if standards are to be applied equally.

This is the challenge the Biden campaign is fighting with at the moment. Combine this with recent reports that a growing number of Bernie Sanders backers are stating they will not support Biden, and serious trouble is arising. The fact that the media is starting to come around on Tara Reade and report on the seriousness of her charges could be an indicator the DNC is starting to make moves towards another name entirely.