“We knew quite a bit much less concerning the extent of harassment again then, over 30 years in the past. She paid a horrible worth, she was abused for the listening to. She was taken benefit of. Her repute was attacked. I want I might have executed one thing. To at the present time I remorse I could not provide you with a solution to get her the sort of listening to she deserved, given the braveness she confirmed by reaching out to us.”
Which is an effective sentiment! And the best sentiment for a candidate who very quickly will likely be operating for the Democratic presidential nomination. The issue for Biden — and the Hill testimony makes it plainly — is that he got here of age in a really totally different political time, when “white man’s tradition” was completely and fully dominant. And, much more problematically for Biden, he has a long time upon a long time of recorded Senate votes that, if correctly utilized by certainly one of his Democratic opponents (or a number of of them) might solid him as somebody who merely isn’t made for these occasions.
One of the exceptional info about Biden’s life is that whereas he has run for president twice, in neither race has his lengthy voting document within the Senate been given the kind of deep dive that we now come to anticipate of somebody operating for president. Biden’s 1988 bid was minimize brief by plagiarism allegations that drove him out of the competition in 1987. In his 2008 run for president, he was by no means a top-tier (or, actually, even second-tier) candidate, and so his opponents largely ignored him and the media did not spend a ton of time trying into his loooooooooong voting document. (Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972.)
However the broader situation is that Biden has been round politics so lengthy — and voting within the Senate for therefore lengthy — that tons and many these votes can and will likely be picked aside as proof that he’s merely not the best individual to steer an more and more numerous, youthful and extra feminine Democratic Social gathering. His stewardship over the Thomas listening to and his vote in favor of the 1994 crime invoice are the 2 most blatant examples of that downside, however there are and will likely be others.
In some methods, Biden is just a product of his occasions. As he acknowledged on Tuesday in regard to Anita Hill, “we knew quite a bit much less concerning the extent of harassment again then, over 30 years in the past.” True! However this presidential race is being run in 2020, not 1990. And none of Biden’s soon-to-be-opponents will let him off the hook for issues he mentioned and votes he made a long time in the past that may have mirrored these occasions however appear deeply out of contact in the present day.
The hazard for Biden on this race is evident: He runs the chance of coming off like Don Draper in a Peggy Olson world. And, sadly for him, there’s simply not a lot he can do about it.