| Guide to:|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
“”You've got the first sort of mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and nice looking guy. I mean that's a storybook man.
|—Joe Biden referring to Barack Obama in 2007 Now that's progressive!'|
“”Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids
Joseph R. "Literally" "Big Fucking Deal" "Amtrak Joe" "Gates of Hell" "Uncle Joe" "Come Hell or High Water" "Diamond Joe" Biden, Jr. is the
conservative's false prophet former in a long list of gaffe-prone Vice Presidents of the United States who, at the same time, managed to be one of Barack Obama's most important negotiators. He got nominated by the Democratic Party in the 2020 U.S. presidential election because he had more name recognition than his moderate rivals and he could count on Sanders overestimating his reach outside of his core supporters.. However, there was definite voter suppression from the Republican party involved in a lot of cases[note 1].
2008 B.B. (Before Biden)
His entire life has been marked by tragedy. He lost his wife and infant daughter in a car crash in the 1970s, and his eldest son died in 2015 of cancer.
He was a U.S. Senator for Delaware from 1973-2008. He also kicked the Sarah Palin's and the Paul Ryan's asses in debates. Sadly, he is also a lobbyist for Delawarean credit card firms and was a cheerleader for the Iraq War.
He has boasted about his relationship with segregationist senator Strom Thurmond (which is not actually bad for those who still believe bipartisanship was once good or is still possible, but is bad if you care about racism in the USA and would rather not see someone who filibustered the civil rights act treated like a "friend"). Furthermore, Biden supported legislation that would have prevented federal courts from ordering public school busing, something Kamala Harris called him out for in the 2020 presidential debates.
Biden was also instrumental in passing the incredibly racist 1994 Crime Bill which has overwhelmingly negatively affected the African-American community. He has also in the past advocated for segregation, saying it was "good for black people."
Since first becoming a Senator in 1973, Biden has ridden the train between his state and DC on Amtrak almost every week. One of his frequent trainmates was Senator Arlen Specter whom he first converted into a fellow train enthusiast and later made switch parties from (moderate) Republican to Democrat. As a frequent rider on Amtrak it should come as no surprise that Biden is a fan of rail as a mode of transportation and he has consequently been called "railfan in chief" and "Amtrak Joe" among other things. The Obama administration's ambitious high speed rail plan that was unveiled in 2009 is believed to be mostly thanks to his influence and when a train derailed on the Northeast Corridor a visibly shaken Biden spoke to media, that he himself had been on the same route numerous times and that more investments in Amtrak is needed now more than ever. The Republicans of course voted to cut Amtrak funding on the very same day.
Gay marriage should be legal... oops
In May of 2012, right in the middle of the re-election campaign, Biden misspoke (or maybe not), saying that "I am absolutely comfortable with gay marriage." This gaffe forced Obama to have to actually address the gay marriage issue head on. The President said he had evolved and now accepted gay marriage. This was one of several turning points in the campaign, so thank him for that. (There's some not-entirely-unfounded speculation that Biden's "gaffe" was a trial balloon for a planned announcement by the President: if the media didn't make too much of a fuss about Biden's statement, or made a fuss in a positive direction, it was safe for the Prez to, um, come out.)
Allegations of inappropriate physical contact and sexual assault
“”I'm a tactile politician.
|—Joe Biden, March 2019|
“”Not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately.
|—Joe Biden, March 2019|
There are several videos and pictures of Biden engaging in what commentators consider to be inappropriate proximity to women and children, including kissing and or touching. Biden described himself as a "tactile politician", admitting this behavior caused trouble in the past.
In March 2019, Lucy Flores, former Nevada assemblywoman, accused Biden of having kissed her without her consent at a 2014 campaign rally in Las Vegas. Flores wrote that Biden walked up behind her, put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair, and kissed the back of her head, in "an intimate way reserved for close friends, family, or romantic partners – and I felt powerless to do anything about it." Few days later, three additional women came forward with allegations of inappropriate conduct. Amy Lappos, a former congressional aide, accused Biden of having crossed a line of decency when he touched her in a non-sexual, but inappropriate way by holding her head to rub noses with her at a political fundraiser in Greenwich in 2009. Another woman said that Biden ran his hand from her shoulder down her back, and the other said that he placed his hand on her thigh. By April 2019, a total of seven women accused Biden of inappropriately touching them.
Tara Reade has accused Biden of making inappropriate physical contact with her in 1993 when she worked in the then-Senator's office during the period December 1992 to August 1993. Reade has given many interviews about this incident, including multiple interviews with The Washington Post. Lucy Flores' story of Biden's inappropriate touching inspired Read to initially allege that Biden had inappropriately touched her, which was published in her hometown newspaper, The Union, on April 3, 2019. In that article, Reade's accusation at that time was:<
“”He used to put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck,” Reade said. “I would just kind of freeze and wait for him to stop doing that.
This was similar to what other women have accused Biden of doing, and it was reported that Reade did not consider that behavior sexualization.
Reade told The Union that she left her job with the Senator because she refused to serve drinks at a fundraiser, and because she felt sidelined because of that. In a 2019 interview with The Washington Post, Reade laid blame for her leaving Senator's office for "bullying" by the Senator's staff rather than by Biden himself:
“”This is what I want to emphasize: It’s not him. It’s the people around him who keep covering for him… For instance, he should have known what was happening to me… Looking back now, that’s my criticism. Maybe he could have been a little more in touch with his own staff.
By her differing accounts, Reade either left voluntarily because she felt sidelined, or she was forced out by Ted Kaufman, Biden's chief of staff.
As recently as 2017, Reade tweeted positively about Biden. But starting in January 2020, Reade began publicly supporting Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, and called Biden "a misogynist pred". In March 2020, Reade gave an interview with Katie Halper, a Bernie supporter, in which she changed her story that Biden had sexually assaulted her in the Senate. In a subsequent interview with The Washington Post, Reade could not remember where in the Capitol she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Biden. Reade’s younger brother, Collin Moulton, confirmed Reade's initial story of inappropriate touching but then revised his story to conform to Reade's revised story.
Biden's presidential campaign has called this sexual assault allegation false:
“”He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.
Marianne Baker, who was one of Reade's supervisors, also denied Reade's claim of having made a formal complaint of the assault:
“”In all my years working for Sen. Biden, I never once witnessed, or heard of, or received, any reports of inappropriate conduct, period — not from Ms. Reade, not from anyone. I have absolutely no knowledge or memory of Ms. Reade’s accounting of events, which would have left a searing impression on me as a woman professional, and as a manager. These clearly false allegations are in complete contradiction to both the inner workings of our Senate office and to the man I know and worked so closely with for almost two decades.
Two of Reade's other supervisors, Dennis Toner and Ted Kaufman, also flatly denied that the complaint was made, and both stated that they would have remembered it if such a complaint had been made.
Reade had told The Washington Post that she had confided in her mother, who later died in 1993, regarding the allegations. Subsequently, Reade told The Intercept that her mother had made a phone call to Larry King Live some time in 1993 which referenced her daughter's experience at The Capitol. The Intercept was able to find a recording of the radio conversation, the complete transcript of which is:
King: San Luis Obispo, California, hello.
Caller: Yes, hello. I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, 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.
King: In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?
Caller: That’s true.
Assuming that the anonymous caller was Reade's mother, one does not know what exactly the issue was that her mother was referring to. Was it the inappropriate touching that Reade had initially alleged, was it her difficulties with the Senator's office staff, or was it the sexual assault that she is currently alleging?
Believe all women
“”"What we are witnessing is another instance of the right decrying what it imagines the American women’s movement to be."
Concomitant with Reade's 2020 accusation against Biden, the phrase "Believe all women" began cropping up. It is noteworthy, because the phrase "Believe women" (without the 'all') began in 2016 with Harvey Weinstein's downfall, and rose to prominence with the #MeToo hashtag that began in 2017.
“”"Believe women" was a reminder, not an absolute rule; the beginning of a process, not an end. It was flexible enough to apply to various contexts: Believe women … enough to seriously investigate their claims. Believe women … when they tell you about pervasive indignities — catcalling, leering — that happen to them and their friends when you’re not around.
|—Monica Hesse (ellipses hers)|
"Believe all women" is a phrase that is generally used to taunt Democrats by the right-wing, who seek to make a straw man argument against concerns over sexual abuse and sexual harrassment of women, using the original "Believe women" slogan that originated with the #MeToo movement. In this specific case (utilized by the usual right-wing suspects such as Glenn Beck, Megyn Kelly, and Fox news anchor Martha MacCallum) the flawed argument concerns the assertion that they're not going to believe this woman, Tara Reade, so Democrats are hypocrites. The problem with the phrase "Believe all women" is that it is inherently contradictory (or paradoxical): it's not unrealistic that two women could have contradictory opinions about something, and so it would be irrational to believe both of them. The phrase "Believe all women" is in fact used as a straw man and a gaslighting technique — an intentional misrepresentation of "Believe women" to try to trip up people who might want to give Biden the benefit of the doubt. It is used just like "All Lives Matter." was used to misrepresent "Black Lives Matter."
Biden's support of women's rights is broad and consistent. Even feminist men, like Biden, can be tone-deaf, and that is how Biden appeared when questioning Anita Hill regarding her accusations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas during his Senate confirmation hearings. In 1994, Biden authored and strong-armed the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (as part of a larger bill, Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, also known as the Biden Crime Act) which among other things, aids women in cases of domestic assault and for the first time, provided a way for victims of rape or domestic assault to find redress in civil courts if the State or District prosecutor choose not to try a case.
Despite personally following his Catholic faith in the belief that life begins at conception, Biden is strongly pro-choice. In the 2012 Vice-Presidential debates, he stated his own view (and challenged all lawmakers):
With regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position … life begins at conception. … But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christian and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others.
I do not believe that we have a right to tell women, that they can’t control their body. It is a decision between them and their doctor. I am not going to interfere with that.
- Dick Cheney: Joe Biden's predecessor.
- Al Gore: Cheney's predecessor and the dude who should've been president instead of
- Mike Pence: Biden's successor.
- The Onion's coverage of Joe. (Of course he responded back.)
- Exploring the Origins of the Legend of Joe Biden, TPM
- Joe Biden on Twitter
- Joe Biden on Facebook
Joe Biden 2020 campaign websiteJoe Biden's actual 2020 campaign website
- Biden is known to have issues with young voters, who overwhelmingly favor Bernie Sanders. Related to this, Republicans have been actively suppressing votes on college campuses, resulting in an effective lower turnout for Bernie Sanders and an increased turnout for Biden.
- Joe Biden Speech: Vice President Misuses The Word Literally, HuffPo
- Joe Biden isn’t just a gaffe machine. He’s the Lamborghini of gaffes by Dana Milbank (August 27, 2019 at 7:52 PM) The Washington Post.
- In 'fiscal cliff' deal, Joe Biden upstages President Obama, Christian Science Monitor
- Bernie Sanders drops out of the 2020 race, clearing Joe Biden's path to the Democratic nomination
- "Biden eulogy for Strom Thurmond shows political opponents don't have to be enemies"
- Joe Biden's busing problem
- "Why Joe Biden's Social Security Record Matters" -- Forbes
- Biden's record on race explained
- Jeremy Diamond and Eric Bradner, "House committee passes bill that cuts Amtrak funding after crash", CNN.
- Biden 'absolutely comfortable' with gay marriage, Reuters
- Obama: Biden “probably got a little bit over his skis” on the issue, Washington Post.
- "Biden responds to allegation of unwanted touching, kissing: ‘Not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately’". Washington Post. March 2019.
- "Joe Biden 2020 Is A Terrible Idea In A Post-Weinstein America". HuffingtonPost. November, 2017.
- "Lucy Flores isn’t alone. Joe Biden’s got a long history of touching women inappropriately". Vox. March 2019.
- "America Shouldn't Tolerate 'Biden Being Biden'". Time. February, 2015.
- "Nevada Democrat accuses Joe Biden of touching and kissing her without consent at 2014 event". Los Angeles Times. March 29, 2019.
- "Ex-Nevada Assemblywoman Says Joe Biden Inappropriately Kissed Her". HuffingtonPost. March, 2019.
- "Lucy Flores Still Wants An Apology From Joe Biden". HuffingtonPost. April, 2019.
- "Connecticut woman says then-Vice President Joe Biden touched her inappropriately at a Greenwich fundraiser in 2009". Hartford Courant. April, 2019.
- "Two more women accuse Biden of inappropriate touching". TheHill. April, 2019.
- "Biden’s Tactile Politics Threaten His Return in the #MeToo Era". New York Times. April, 2019.
- "All the Women Who Have Spoken Out Against Joe Biden". New York (magazine). April, 2019.
- Sexual assault allegation by former Biden Senate aide emerges in campaign, draws denial by Beth Reinhard, Elise Viebeck, Matt Viser & Alice Crites (April 12, 2020 at 8:20 p.m. PDT) The Washington Post.
- Nevada County woman says Joe Biden inappropriately touched her while working in his U.S. Senate office by Alan Riquelmy (April 3, 2019) The Union.
- Examining Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden: Ms. Reade, a former Senate aide, has accused Mr. Biden of assaulting her in 1993 and says she told others about it. A Biden spokeswoman said the allegation is false, and former Senate office staff members do not recall such an incident. by Lisa Lerer & Sydney Ember (Published April 12, 2020; Updated May 8, 2020) The New York Times.
- Tara Reade, Joe Biden's accuser, finally tells her full story (excerpt) (March 26, 2020) SoundCloud.
- Time’s Up Said It Could Not Fund a #MeToo Allegation Against Joe Biden, Citing Its Nonprofit Status and His Presidential Run by Ryan Grim (March 24 2020, 12:58 p.m.) The Intercept.
- New Evidence Supporting Credibility of Tara Reade’s Allegation Against Joe Biden Emerges by Ryan Grim (April 24 2020, 11:39 a.m.) The Intercept.
- "‘Believe All Women’ Is a Right-Wing Trap" by Susan Faludi, New York Times, 2020 May 18
- 'Believe Women' was a slogan. 'Believe All Women' is a straw man. by Monica Hesse (May 12, 2020 at 3:00 a.m. PDT) The Washington Post.
- The Standard We Should Have With Tara Reade's Case Against Joe Biden by Glenn Beck (May 7 at 5:10 PM) Facebook (archived from May 14, 2020).
- The MK Interview: Tara Reade by Megyn Kelly (May 8, 2020) YouTube.
- MacCallum knocks Pelosi over response to Biden allegations: 'Drives a stake into the heart' of #MeToo by Yael Halon (May 6, 2020) Fox News.
- Re-watching Joe Biden’s disastrous Anita Hill hearing: A sexual harassment inquisition by Michael S. Rosenwald (November 26 at 12:11 PM) The Washington Post.