From sexual assault allegations to the backlash of loyal Bernie supporters, Democrat Presidential nominee Joe Biden has received mounting pressure to drop out of the Presidential race, and this pressure isn’t just coming from conservatives.
Many liberals behind the worldwide trending hashtags #DropOutBiden and #DropOutJoe want the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to drop Biden and select another candidate to face off against Trump in the fall. Does this mean that Bernie will have another comeback?
Here is everything you need to know about Biden’s obstacles on the way to the November vote.
Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation
Biden has recently received backlash from conservatives and liberals alike over a sexual assault allegation from Biden’s former Senate staff assistant, Tara Reade, from the mid-’90s. Though she has been public with her allegation against Biden since the incident, Reade’s story recently came into the spotlight after she disclosed the story on Katie Halper’s political podcast.
Though Reade has been vocal about her sexual assault allegation since the ’90s, the media and political establishment have swept it under the rug for years.
According to Reade, Biden had been inappropriately forward towards her throughout her career in his office. For example, prior to the alleged incident, Biden had requested that Reade serve cocktails at a Senate party because she had “nice legs.” However, though Reade brought her concerns to her supervisor, she was continually silenced and told to “keep your head down” and to “do your job.” The response was no different after the alleged sexual assault destroyed Reade’s political career.
According to Reade, her supervisor said that Biden had requested that Reade run to deliver a gym bag to his office, noting that it was extremely urgent. As Reade rushed to meet Biden with the bag in the Russel Senate Building, Biden pinned her against the wall, reached under her skirt, and penetrated her with his fingers. As she attempted to deny Biden’s advances, Reade said that Biden became angry and said, “Aw man, I heard you liked me,” and pointed his finger and said, "You're nothing to me.”
When Reade told her supervisor about the assault, she was met with the same answer: “keep your head down” and “do your job.” In the months after the incident, Reade’s sexual allegation hearing was swept under the rug, and she soon lost her position in Biden’s office. Her career in D.C. was soon over.
When Reade told her supervisor about the assault, she was met with the same answer: “be quiet” and “do your job.”
Though Reade has been vocal about her sexual assault allegation since the ’90s, the media and political establishment have swept it under the rug for years. Now that Biden has a chance of becoming the next President of the United States, she has tried to get her story out once again. Due to mounting pressure to adequately cover the story, the media is finally giving her more coverage, especially as more witnesses are coming forward—such as her neighbors at the time of the attack.
As Biden has always been a champion of the #MeToo movement, Democrat supporters of #MeToo are particularly outraged at the mounting allegations. This scandal alone might be enough the make the DNC reconsider Biden’s candidacy.
Are We Still Feeling the Bern?
Tara Reade isn’t the only cause of increasing divisiveness in Biden’s campaign. Biden, who was originally championed for his unifying support from the Democratic Party, is now receiving unprecedented backlash from loyal Bernie supporters. While Biden has always garnered the support of the traditional Democrat demographics, Bernie supporters—though Democrat in name—have not come behind Biden in the way that the Democratic Establishment had hoped.
Many Bernie supporters will only consider voting for Biden if he embraces Bernie’s main reforms.
Bernie’s main platform is his healthcare and education reforms: to provide a universal Medicare healthcare for every American and to cancel the student debt of U.S. college students and graduates. These two main campaign points were the backbone of Bernie’s campaign, and now that Bernie is out of the race, many of Bernie’s supporters are not quick to support Biden as long as he refuses to promote these progressive reforms. As Bernie’s former press secretary Briahna Joy Gray said in a recent interview, many Bernie supporters, including herself, will only consider voting for Biden if he embraces Bernie’s main reforms, such as "Medicare for All, canceling student-loan debt, canceling medical debt, having a wealth tax.”
Biden is caught between a rock and a hard place. His more moderate views won the support of the centrist and traditional Democrats, but these same views have not won the allegiance of Bernie’s Democratic Socialists. If Biden can’t unify the support of both moderate Democrats and Democratic Socialists alike, then he has a slim chance of winning against Trump come November.
If Biden can’t unify the support of both moderate Democrats and Democratic Socialists alike, then he has a slim chance of winning against Trump come November.
Therefore, many of Bernie’s loyal supporters are taking this opportunity to put pressure on the DNC to select Bernie as the candidate for the presidential election.
Though Biden presumptively holds the Democratic Presidential nomination, the DNC retains the power to take away his candidacy. With mounting pressure from Democratic voters concerning the Tara Reade scandal and the resilience of loyal Bernie supporters, the DNC is forced to consider whether Biden is the best candidate to claim victory against Trump in November.
Though previous predictions pointed to Biden as the candidate with the best chance to defeat Trump, Biden’s campaign has proved to be more divisive than unifying. Within the coming weeks, we should expect to see the DNC’s decision to support or terminate Biden’s candidacy.