How His Sexual Assault Denial Interview Could Well Help Biden More Broadly

How His Sexual Assault Denial Interview Could Well Help Biden More Broadly


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appears to have done his defense against sexual assault allegations a world of good by maintaining a measured and seemingly forthright composure in the face of difficult questioning Friday by MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski.

The answers which the former vice president provided about the charges leveled by a woman, Tara Reade, and the way that he provided them, won a panoply of plaudits–not merely from his partisans but from a variety of independent analysts.

Reade alleges that as a senator in 1993, Biden pinned her down and digitally penetrated her without her consent.

However, more than one columnist or other observer, believes that–absent the introduction of some new, damaging evidence–with Friday’s interview Biden very well has put this scandal behind him.

If that’s all his Q&A with Brzezinski were to accomplish, Biden will have hit a home run.

But I think that it may carry him even further by helping him by potentially putting an end to a perception that may have been catching hold with some that Biden a) has lost his faculties and b) he hasn’t been public enough, almost like he’s been hiding in his basement.

As Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin put it, while noting that Biden’s been leading in the polls while Donald Trump’s been “melting down.”

“Democrats perpetually worried that the Biden team is ‘blowing it’ (Biden is hidden away! Not in the news!) might want to chill. This was a textbook example of effective campaign communication,” Rubin wrote Friday.

The interview itself should live through at least a handful of news cycles, so it should–at least for now–quiet the worry that Biden isn’t sufficiently visible.

And Biden’s performance in his interview–which you could argue was among the most important of his campaign thus far–was forthright and articulate. So that cogency alone should have long-term effects in ending the ridiculous narrative that he’s somehow losing his marbles.

Hopefully, Friday’s interview starts a new narrative for Biden, one which more fully takes command of his ongoing and apparent advantages in this race.

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