Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chose Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate Tuesday in a decision that shocked few.
The former vice president had pigeonholed himself into choosing a woman to run alongside him and had faced pressure to choose a black woman.
Harris checks both of those boxes and is well-known, thanks to her 2018 attempt at smearing then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on live TV and her poor debate performances last year, which helped to end her short-lived presidential bid.
Although she failed in 2019 to gain any traction with Democratic voters, the party and Biden crowned Harris, and she is being hailed as a historic candidate despite her shortcomings and her checkered history as a prosecutor.
Biden, who has a checkered history of his own with regard to his interactions with women, had few options with regard to choosing a running mate, and the campaign must have seen something in Harris that they thought would help him in November.
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But there are many problems facing the new tandem, including the fact that Harris declared last year that she believed the women who had directly accused Biden of inappropriate behavior.
Biden’s career-long propensity for putting his hands and his nose near women and girls led him to trouble in Nevada in April 2019.
Democratic state lawmaker Lucy Flores described in New York magazine’s The Cut how comfortable Biden made her:
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual f—? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’ He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
Other women shared similar stories, and, of course, video evidence of Biden’s handsy habits is well documented online.
As the pressure mounted, Biden issued a non-apology apology, saying, “I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future.”
Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it. pic.twitter.com/Ya2mf5ODts
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 3, 2019
Harris was asked to weigh in on Biden’s alleged inappropriate behavior during a campaign stop in Nevada in November 2019.
The senator, who would also essentially equate Biden to a “segregationist” later that year, did not simply state that she wanted to hear more facts or that she wouldn’t discredit the women until she’d had more information.
She said she believed the women who accused the former vice president of touching them inappropriately.
“I believe them and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it,” Harris said, according to The Hill.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is now being considered as a VP pick for Joe Biden, said the following about Biden’s accusers last April: “I believe them and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it”
Does she believe Tara Reade? pic.twitter.com/A1Asfx5kqB
— Kingsley Cortes (@KingsleyCortes) April 27, 2020
The comment was made before Biden had officially announced his candidacy, so Harris was asked if he should even run for president in light of the scandal.
“He’s going to have to make that decision for himself. I wouldn’t tell him what to do,” she said.
Biden would later face even more serious allegations when former Senate aide Tara Reade accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1993.
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Now that Harris is making history, checking boxes that make her the first female minority vice presidential candidate for a major party, does it matter anymore whether Biden might be guilty of, at the very least, inappropriate behavior, as she previously asserted he might be?
Now that she and Biden will be working together to transform the country into an unrecognizable leftist utopia, how does she reconcile that with statements such as this one?
To all survivors of sexual assault: We hear you. We see you. We will give you dignity. Don’t let this process bully you into silence.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 5, 2018
How does Harris have any credibility at all after she said she believed women who accused her now-boss of misconduct but will gladly work for him as a champion of women?
How can Harris use her treatment of Kavanaugh as a feather in her cap, while she previously attacked Vice President Mike Pence, whom she will soon debate, for refusing to share meals alone with women who are not his wife?
Pence, who is a devout Christian, stated in 2002 that he “never eats alone with a woman other than his wife.”
“I disagree with him when he suggests it’s not possible to have meetings with women alone by himself,” Harris said of Pence’s personal eating habits with relation to his marriage, Politico reported.
“I think that’s ridiculous — the idea that you would deny a professional woman the opportunity to have a meeting with the vice president of the United States is outrageous,” she added.
Biden, for his part, called Pence a “decent guy,” The Hill reported.
What kind of behavior is acceptable, though, for Harris?
She and Biden will have to get on the same page about a few things, including the subject of what spectrum of male behavior is appropriate.
Maybe Harris likes a happy medium where she can have dinner with a married man who isn’t going to sniff her hair.
Perhaps Harris is simply morally fluid.
Or maybe she’s yet another politician willing to wiggle out of her principles for a shot at becoming president.
With many Americans, including Democrats, expressing doubts that Biden could even complete a term in office, according to a recent poll, the Oval Office is probably so close to Harris, in her mind, that she can smell it.
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