Good lord. I’m tempted to say Biden should just let Jill Biden interview him, given how well disposed Joe and Mika are to him.
But Jill would probably be a tougher interview considering the nature of the allegations.
Maybe Reade should rethink Hannity’s offer of an interview. She’s reportedly negotiating with Chris Wallace instead, not wanting to be seen as a political pawn. But if Biden’s going to stick to interviewers who are in the tank for him, she might as well do the same.
Tomorrow: Joe Biden joins @Morning_Joe to respond for the first time to the recent allegation of sexual assault
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) April 30, 2020
Trump’s tweets afterward are going to be hall-of-famers. Or … are they? He sounds pretty low-energy here when asked about Reade.
Trump: It could be false accusations. I know all about false accusations. I’ve been falsely charged numerous times pic.twitter.com/7mLpk7YVLg
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) April 30, 2020
Mrs. Biden will not be joining her husband for tomorrow’s appearance, it seems. Meanwhile, David Rutz asks a good question. Why didn’t Scarborough and Brzezinski ask Biden about this a few weeks ago when they had the chance?
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) April 30, 2020
It’s true. The Times story was published on April 12 and the Bidens sat down with “Morning Joe” on April 16. Joe and Mika would probably say that that was back before witnesses had come forward corroborating that Reade told them about sexual misconduct by Biden years ago. But that’s not true. According to the Times’s own story, “A friend said that Ms. Reade told her about the alleged assault at the time, in 1993. A second friend recalled Ms. Reade telling her in 2008 that Mr. Biden had touched her inappropriately and that she’d had a traumatic experience while working in his office.”
Not a single question on April 16. I guess it would have ruined the bonhomie.
Eliana Johnson made a nice catch, remembering that Brzezinski has spoken in defense of Biden before when women have accused him of inappropriate behavior. No one else has accused him of anything as inappropriate as Reade has but we’re all very familiar with his “busy hands” and weird habit of sniffing women’s hair. Brzezinski happily went to bat for him about that last year:
The first of eight women to accuse Biden of making unwanted contact with them, Flores penned an op-ed in the New York Times Monday saying that Biden’s response to the allegations has fallen short of a true apology. It came less than a week after Biden’s entry into the crowded Democratic presidential field and rapid ascent in primary polls, which is all playing out in the #MeToo era.
“I can promise you, I know Joe Biden. He went up behind her and took a deep breath because he was about to go on stage,” Brzezinksi said. “He was going on stage, he took a deep breath before he went on stage and you took it deeply personally, and now you’re writing a New York Times op-ed about it demanding an apology? This once again is completely ridiculous, and the rest of America thinks it’s ridiculous, too.”
That’s what Biden has waiting for him tomorrow morning. But even without Mika tipping her hand last year, we all understand the dynamic. Scarborough and Brzezinski have become two of the most strident Trump critics in big media despite having done more in 2015-16 to mainstream him as a credible presidential candidate than many of their colleagues did. They’re not going to go out there and nuke the last best chance of ending Trump’s presidency by coming down hard on Biden. It’s almost as ludicrous as the thought of Hannity skeptically grilling Reade. Frankly, I’m not sure there’s anything they can ask that might cleverly maneuver Biden off of his “never happened” denials. The most forceful thing they could do would be to demand that he open his archives at the University of Delaware so that reporters can comb through them to see if there’s any material on Reade. But he probably won’t agree to that, knowing how Trump’s oppo research team would take advantage.
If one of two things were different I think this story might have real legs even among Democrats. If Trump hadn’t been accused of sexual misconduct by so many women himself, liberals would have a harder time waving away Reade’s complaint. As it is, they’ll inevitably steer themselves into the position that even if Biden’s a predator Trump is a worse predator so at best #MeToo issues aren’t something that should affect anyone’s vote this fall. “It’s a wash.”
On the other hand, if Democrats had a runner-up in this year’s presidential primaries whom they believed might be stronger head-to-head against Trump then some might seize on the Reade allegations as a reason to oust Biden as nominee and replace him with the second-place finisher. No doubt that’s exactly what Berniebros are hoping for. But no one outside of Sanders’s own diehards thinks he’s more of a threat to Trump than Biden is, especially at a moment when Joe is leading in practically every battleground state. (Fox News of all places dropped a New Hampshire poll last night showing Biden winning easily, by eight points.) Democrats aren’t going to exchange Biden for a “Trump versus socialism” crapshoot instead. They’re going to say “I believe Joe,” hope and pray that no documentary evidence surfaces to corroborate Reade, and trust that his selection of a woman VP will paper this over with skeptical voters who were otherwise inclined to support him.
Oh, and they’re going to stress how seriously #MeToo allegations should be taken, as Hakeem Jeffries did four times in the span of one sentence today. All while refusing to take this one seriously at all.
Speaking of people not taking #MeToo seriously, here’s your exit question. Griswold’s right, you know.
If you’ll permit me to shift the goalposts a little:
When will Joe Biden take answers on this from someone who *wasn’t* trying to rehabilitate Mark Halperin as late as last year? https://t.co/TKhdplNYfC
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) April 30, 2020