When it comes to Biden accuser Tara Reade, I’ve been reluctant to jump to any conclusions. Women deserve to be heard and their stories deserve to be taken seriously. But with respect to Reade’s accusations in particular, a lot of questions have been raised that so far don’t appear to have answers.
Granted, I’m biased insofar as I want to believe our nominee is a good person and a fit candidate, and if Reade’s story is true, he is not. (That said, if the media would spend a bit more time on the dozens of sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations against Donald Trump, that would be keen.)
So here’s yet another diary for the “Joe Biden probably didn’t do this” files. While Reade says she filed a formal complaint against Biden in 1993, David Axelrod, who served as Barack Obama’s chief campaign strategist in 2008 and 2012, insists no such document exists. And he would be in a position to know because the campaign fully vetted Biden in 2008 and didn’t find a hint of impropriety.
The comprehensive vet certainly would have turned up any formal complaints filed against Biden during his 36-year career in the Senate. It did not. The team would have investigated any salacious rumors of the sort that travel far and wide in Washington. There were none.
While I was not on the vetting team, as senior strategist to the campaign, I was briefed on their work and potential problems.
Through that entire process, the name Tara Reade never came up. No formal complaint. No informal chatter. Certainly, no intimation of sexual harassment or assault from her or anyone else. The team of investigators, expert in their work, would not have missed it.
Reade did not surface her allegations of a criminal sexual assault when Biden was a candidate for president in 2008, nor did she offer them confidentially to the Obama vetting team when Biden emerged as a principal contender for vice president later that year.