Better late than never. This morning, Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" was the first media figure to interview Joe Biden over week-old accusations that he sexual assaulted staffer Tara Reade in 1993. That much we saw coming. What was unforeseen: Biden's answer to the question of why he doesn't want files documenting his career---housed at his alma mater, the University of Delaware--to be searched for Tara Reade's name.
Biden apparently took Brzezinski's question to mean, Why don't you want the files unsealed, and his wrong-footed answer revealed tantalizing information: the files contain "confidential conversations" between Biden and former President Barack Obama.
Biden could have left it at that. Surely his campaign staff and many Democrats across the nation wish he would have. But, as we've been told by Nancy Pelosi, "Joe Biden is Joe Biden", and true to form, he continued to speak.
Brzezinski asked, "Why not do it [search Univ. of Delaware records for Reade's name] for both sets of records?"
Biden replied, "Because the material in the University of Delaware has no personnel files, but it does have a lot of confidential conversations that I had with the president about a particular issue that I had with the heads of state of other places, that that would not be something that would be revealed while I was in public office, or while I was seeking public office. It just stands to reason. To the best of my knowledge, no one else has done that either?"
"I'm just talking about her name, not anybody else in those records," said Brzezinski in an almost apologetic tone.
A long, awkward pause followed the exchange. You could've heard a campaign drop.
The rest of the interview wasn't much better. Biden began by coughing into his hand, something he's been warned about. He then flatly denied assaulting Reade. Brzezinski went on to cover the development of the case. Biden stated that his files from the National Archives should be searched, but Brzezinski repeatedly pushed for his records at the Univ. of Delaware as well. She went on to ask about the #MeToo movement, rather pointedly.
"Are women to be believed--are women to be believed unless it pertains to you?" Brzezinski asked. Biden shook his head and smiled, sighing exasperatedly. "I assure you, it did not happen. Period. Period."
Biden's disavowals were unconvincing, and his claim that nothing pertaining to Reade exists in the Delaware documents came off as desperate. Then came the exchange above. The full video below:
Biden went on to helplessly ask, "Well, wh-wh-who does that search?" Brzezinski answered, "The University of Delaware?" Mercifully for Biden, the interview concluded shortly thereafter, but the damage was done.
MSNBC isn't the only left-leaning outlet turning on Biden. The Week, a news digest aimed at the lazy and/or elderly, was miles from its usual pro-Joe patter today:
Never was former Vice President Joe Biden the 2020 dream. He promised electability and familiarity, which turned out to be good enough for a plurality of Democratic voters in the early primaries.
But now that every other Democratic contender has dropped out and dutifully lined up behind the presumptive nominee, that choice might be sitting less comfortably. Biden is campaigning from his basement, giving interviews in which he occasionally moves past gaffes into total incoherence, raising questions about his mental fitness. Worst of all, evidence for a sexual assault allegation against him begins to mount.
Add that to pandemic-induced uncertainty about when and how the Democratic National Convention will be held and it's fair to ask: Is Biden definitely the nominee? Right-wing commentators like Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson as well as former Bernie Sanders Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray have speculated Biden will be replaced on the ticket, but how could that happen? Is there a path to nominating someone else?The Week
MSNBC and The Week coordinated on knocking Biden down a peg or two hundred? Could be a play for credibility in what has been an embarrassing game of see-no-evil on the Reade accusation, or it could mean larger party forces are at work, and the mainstream media are simply doing their bidding per usual.
Biden's true weakness has never been sexual assault. The pattern of petting and fondling girls and women, that's a moral and ethical shortcoming. The Reade affair, if true, could become a criminal matter, depending on statues of limitation. But Biden's foremost failure, as far as electability, lies in his dealings with Ukraine and China. Many on the left don't care about sexual assault, but full-blown international bribery? Sure, maybe.
And that is almost certainly the case--discussions with the White House counsel and the president about Biden's son Hunter's lucrative position on the board of energy giant Burisma, and records of the unprecedented $1.5 billion deal Hunter and his boutique investment firm Rosemont Seneca Partners struck with the Bank of China--that Biden doesn't want revealed.
If those conversations come to light, the heretofore unsinkable Biden may well have met his iceberg. In that case, expect Hillary Clinton to step into the fray.
In fact, some have mused on anonymous chat boards that Tara Reade may be a tool of Hillary's. The theory makes enough sense to recount here: now that everyone else is out of the way, the DNC is all-in on Biden. No other candidate can be resurrected. They've given their endorsements, from Obama to many other primary opponents, including Bernie Sanders.
Hillary gave her endorsement as well. But she wasn't a candidate. Showing her support was a necessary step to relieve her of any suspicion. If Biden falls, only Hillary can step in.
Double bonus: if true, the cunning old pol--who has yet to lift a finger this entire grueling primary season--would be begged by the left to please, please take the nomination! And thus, she would be perceived as a savior by Democrats when she accepts. It's quite Shakespearean, really: the theory of "Lady MacHillary 2020".
Though one rather doubts the former Secretary would have an "Out, out, damned spot!" moment.
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