Should Joe Biden pause his presidential bid until Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations are resolved?


Fact Box

  • The Me Too (or #MeToo) movement was started in the social media context in 2006 by civil rights activist Tarana Burke. The hashtag sprung to popularity after the Harvey Weinstein story broke the news circuit in fall 2017.
  • Biden had represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009 before becoming vice president under President Barack Obama. In his entire political career, he has had two other presidential campaigns: 1988 and 2008. 
  • Tara Reade is one of eight women who has come forward amidst Joe Biden’s presidential bid. Reade’s interview first aired on Katie Halper’s podcast, the “Katie Halper” show on March 24 & 26, 2020.
  • When comparing the news response to Tara Reade’s allegations made against Vice President Biden vs. the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, major news outlets reported 90-100+ times each within the six days following Ford’s allegations. Six days following Reade’s, the above news outlets reported on them zero times.  
  • In September 2018, in response to the Kavanaugh hearings, Biden, along with many other political pundits, called to believe women are telling the truth when coming forward with sexual allegations.

Kiande (No)

All sexual assault allegations should be taken seriously and investigated accordingly; however, an allegation is still only a claim, and the accused are to be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise. With that being said, there is no reason for Joe Biden to pause his presidential campaign due to allegations. As the lone Democratic candidate left in the race, a paused campaign would undoubtedly give President Trump a huge advantage and could ultimately cost Biden the 2020 Presidential Election. With significant consequences accompanying a paused campaign, such action should not take place due to an allegation. 

Additionally, we have a current president accused of sexual misconduct at least 25 times, and he still sits in the Oval Office to this day. We cannot hold Joe Biden to a higher moral standard than our own president. President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 basically for sexual misconduct; however, over 20 years later, in 2020, our standards for acceptable behavior from our presidents and presidential candidates have clearly changed. 

If these allegations turned into a conviction after being investigated, one would assume that the Biden campaign would be canceled. However, as long as these allegations remain claims, the Biden campaign should and will continue to compete against the Trump campaign to win the office of the president of the United States in November. 

Election Day is on November 3, 2020.

Noah (Yes)

Yes, Joe Biden needs to be cleared quickly of the sexual misconduct charges lodged against him by Tara Reade, his former Senate office employee, before he actively campaigns any further for the presidency. There should be no double standard for dealing with credible accusations of prior sexual offenses when it comes to people in power, no matter who they are. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is a good example. He was cleared by the Senate after a bruising, contentious, but thorough hearing, and only then went on to take his oath of office.

Tara Reade not only has a legitimate workplace history with Mr. Biden and told people close to her of the offense when it happened, but she also immediately told her mother of the assault. After the event, Ms. Reade was demoted in her responsibilities and was forced to resign from her job after sharing her experience with a co-worker. She has now come forward to file a formal police complaint.

'Believe all women' was the anthem of the MeToo movement. It would only be right if the former Vice-president followed that same principle and cleared the air in the name of justice before continuing any further with his campaign. Otherwise, copycat accusers can emerge and spoil any chances he has in being elected as president.

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