This article is written from a Democratic point of view.
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
Hover to Expand
If former vice president Joe Biden is sincere in lamenting the “white man’s culture” of the United States, then he simply should not run for president, according to one CNN political analyst.
Biden, who is said to be very close to jumping into what already is a crowded field of contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, raised the issue of the prevalence of a “white man’s culture” at a recent banquet in New York.
He raised it in the context of the 1991 confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Biden’s role in those hearings as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has come under growing scrutiny as he has edged closer to a White House run due to the treatment of Anita Hill, who had accused Thomas of sexual misconduct.
“A really notable woman, Anita Hill, professor, showed the courage of a lifetime talking about her experience being harassed by Clarence Thomas,” Biden said at the New York City banquet. “We knew a lot less about the extent of harassment back then, over 30 years ago. But she paid a terrible price. She was abused through the hearing. She was taken advantage of. Her reputation was attacked.”
Others still believe, to this day, that Biden did not do enough for Hill.
“He hasn’t accepted the ownership of the fact that he was the most powerful person in the role and in the room at that time,” Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women, told The Washington Post. “I think that he has a hard time because he doesn’t really completely understand yet. He is still protecting his gender.”
Should he enter the presidential contest, Biden would immediately vault to front-runner status, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.
Neither Biden’s words or popularity satisfied CNN political analyst Joan Walsh, a prominent progressive journalist.
“I have an idea for how he can change it,” Walsh said of the “white man’s culture.”
“Don’t run. Come out and support a woman,” she added. “There’s six women in the race, four female senators. If you want to change it, that’s a way to change it. You know, I admire Joe Biden. I am a fond Democrat. He was a great vice president. But you want to change it? Don’t run. And his treatment of Anita Hill will remain a huge issue if he does run.”
Note: This post has been updated.