Last week, The Hill reported that Joe Biden would be announcing a vice presidential “selection committee” panel by May 1st, which would mark the official kick off of the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee’s VP vetting process.
Biden has made it clear that he will pick a woman running mate so as to stave off the pearl clutching that would inevitably commence if he choose a male veep nominee. The possibilities include:
Among the most frequent lawmakers who have been floated as potential running mates are Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), all former 2020 candidates, as well as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Some, like failed 2018 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Abrams, have openly campaigned for the spot.
But while being chosen to be a presidential nominee’s second in command is considered a high honor in political circles, in this particular case questions are being raised about how the VP hopefuls could support Joe Biden and be honored to be in the running considering not only the Tara Reade sexual assault allegation against him but also his past history of inappropriately touching and sniffing women.
I mean, if they believed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s unsubstantiated allegations against Brett Kavanaugh without question, shouldn’t they be believe Tara Reade, too?
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) called out the hypocrisy of it all in a tweet Sunday:
These Democratic senators believed Christine Blasey Ford’s claim against Justice Kavanaugh, yet there’s more evidence to support Tara Reade’s claim of sexual assault against Joe Biden. How could they possibly agree to be VP under those circumstances? https://t.co/mzJuXxO05p
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) April 26, 2020
Here’s what just some of the women under consideration have had to say about the allegations against Biden when asked:
“[I]n this case — and your listeners should look at the story — there was a thorough review by The New York Times. And I think that’s very important to have, especially involving public figures,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said of the allegation in an NPR interview. “But I think when I look at — when I see Vice President Biden, someone I worked with, I see him on — a leader on domestic abuse — led the bill before people were even willing to talk about those horrific crimes and has really been a champion of abuses of power against women and has used his voice on the domestic abuse front in such a big way”
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on her endorsement of Biden, noted that the “allegations are being aired publicly” while saying that she wanted to avoid commenting further until she had read more into the story.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told NPR in an interview that the allegation against Biden “does not” affect her view of Biden’s candidacy, calling him “a man of the highest integrity.” Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., told the San Francisco Chronicle that Biden’s accuser “has a right to tell her story” and that she doesn’t know Biden to be the kind of person to commit sexual assault.
Wow. That’s a very dramatic shift in the “believe all women” default position they took in 2018, especially for Sen. Harris.
The point of this exercise is not to convince women that if you support one woman’s allegations you should support them all. The point is to call out how believability standards should not be based on the political party affiliation of the person being accused.
In reality, the totality of the evidence should be the determining factor. But for Harris, Klobuchar, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) and all the rest, their convenient flip flop on believing on all women is a stark and troubling reminder that their “believing” primarily boils down to how and if it can advance their political ambitions.