Two months have passed since Governor Phil Murphy shut down New Jersey. The good citizens of this state have quarantined themselves, kept their children at home, gone out only as necessary; and they’re getting sick of it. As of Wednesday, 13 May, New Jersey has 141,560 Wuhan Coronavirus infections and 9,702 deaths. In confirmed cases, the Garden State is second only to Andrew Cuomo’s New York. States like Florida, Texas and Georgia have far fewer cases and are slowly opening back up. The quarantine debate rages nationwide and has taken a partisan bent. Democrats want to stay closed, forever it seems, Republicans want to open up regardless of risk.
Not even a pandemic can stop campaign 2020. Joe Biden remains locked down in his Delaware home holding virtual town halls in which he and his staff struggle to get the dang internet meeting thingy to work. ‘Did they introduce me? Are we on?’ Biden asked in his tele-town hall for Tampa, Florida. There are only so many ways to say Joe Biden is old, past his prime, and showing every one of the nearly 50 years he’s spent in Washington. Fortunately for this observer, there are new things to say about Joe Biden. First, some background.
In 2018, Dr. Christine Blassey Ford claimed that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party, in high school, in 1983. No one else corroborated Dr. Blassey Ford’s story and the alleged behavior seemed out of character for the young academically and athletically inclined Kavanaugh, who was never again so accused. Even so, Democrats insisted and continue to insist that America should believe Dr. Ford, ‘Believe all Women’ goes the slogan. Back in 2018, presumptive Democrat Nominee Joe Biden said, ‘For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you've got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she's talking about is real…’
Unless that woman’s name is Tara Reade. Briefly, the former senate staffer claims that in 1993 Joe Biden pressed her up against a wall, stuck his hands beneath her skirt and violated her. Ms. Reade told acquaintances at the time. Her then husband mentioned the alleged assault in court documents and her mother even called into Larry King Live to asked for advice. Reade’s allegation is far more credible than Dr. Ford’s.
Now, Biden is in a fight he can’t win. If he denies Reade’s allegation, Biden goes back on his ‘Believe all Women’ pledge. Admit to Reade’s allegation, and, well, Biden admits to sexual assault. So far Biden’s response has been lame and clumsy. On TV he awkwardly insists all women have the right to be heard, also Tara Reade is a liar. ‘It didn’t happen,’ Biden insists over and over again. Symone Sanders, a prominent Biden campaign surrogate, went back and deleted all of her ‘believe all women’ tweets from the Kavanaugh confirmation. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D NY) said that Biden’s simple denial was, ‘sufficient’.
Tara Reade’s allegation adds a fresh issue to the Dem’s vice-presidential search. Biden has pledged to choose a ‘woman of color.’ This limits the campaign considerably. Perhaps Biden might choose failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Eighteen months after her loss to Republican Brian Kemp, Abrams insists she really won the race. Breaking with political tradition, Abrams is actively campaigning for the vice president slot. There’s also California Senator Kamala Harris, who last year slammed Biden for his opposition to forced bussing way back in the 1970s. One supposes Biden could pick Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, given her career long claim to have Cherokee ancestry. Do these women have to call Tara Reade a liar?
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign, whose boss likes to hold the women he sleeps with to non-disclosure agreements, has been exploiting Reade’s allegations. For years, Biden has been notorious for moving too close to women and girls, putting his hands on them, and even sniffing their hair. Trump supporting third party groups have put together a montage of Biden doing just that overdubbed with audio of Tara Reade telling her story. But this is really just a nuisance.
In the last week or so, Trump’s campaign has released ads hammering Biden on the China front. One ad points out that Biden’s son, Hunter, received a billion-dollar loan from a Chinese state bank. The ad calls Biden ‘China’s Puppet’. Another ad portrays Biden as old, confused, and ‘making excuses for China.’ Democrats have politicized the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic in hopes of turning it into Trump’s Benghazi. But the Trump campaign runs commercials with rousing images of nurses, doctors and other essential workers on the job, fighter jets flying through the skies of New Jersey in tribute and Trump proclaiming. The ads make Trump out to be a wartime president. ‘We’ve built the greatest economy the world has ever seen, and we’re going to do it again.’
The pandemic won’t be Trump’s Benghazi or his Katrina, but it might be the Democrat’s Waterloo.