No matter how much Democrats and the Biden administration might be hoping for it, the Tara Reade story isn’t going away.
The woman who served as an aide in Biden’s Senate office in the early 1990s caused a crisis in then-candidate Joe Biden’s campaign when she went public with the explosive allegation that he had sexually assaulted her in a Capitol hallway in 1993.
It was the most serious in a string of accusations against Biden by women speaking out in the election year, and one Democrats had no doubt hoped would disappear after the votes were counted.
But it hasn’t.
Reade returned to the public eye in a big way this week with an interview on “Tucker Carlson Today,” the popular nighttime host’s gig on the streaming Fox Nation.
Carlson played a portion of the interview Monday night on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” and Reade’s story is as riveting as it was when she first burst into the headlines.
Warning: The following video contains some graphic content that could disturb some viewers.
Reade described the then-senator from Delaware as “very temperamental” — no surprise to anyone who’s caught Biden’s crotchety-codger act in during his time as president. But he was a man who smiled when he got angry — a dangerous smile.
But it was the incident she described that’s at the heart of her accusation — an alleged run-in with Biden in the Capitol in the first year of President Bill Clinton’s administration that dominated the conversation.
“He had me up against the wall and he penetrated me with his fingers against my will,” Reade told Carlson.
Harrowing as the moment sounds by itself, Reade said, there was more.
“It wasn’t just the assault, though,” she said. “It was everything to do with, here I am, this young staffer, and he did this, and then I made him angry. And that’s someone you don’t want to make angry.”
“That’s like, kind of like rape,” he said. “That’s so out of bounds that it’s weird to think someone would do something like that.”
It got weirder, according to Reade.
“When it happened, at first he was like, ‘Come on, man, I heard you liked me,’” she said. “And then he got angry. And that’s when he smiled, you know, that smile. And that’s what was really jarring.
“And then he said, he pointed his finger in my face and said, ‘You’re nothing. You’re nothing to me.’
“I must have had a certain look on my face, and he just took my shoulders and shook me said, ‘You’re fine, you’re fine.’ Then he turned around and walked away.”
But it wasn’t just the hallway encounter, according to Reade’s account.
“He used his power and resources to silence me,” she said. “He took my future. I didn’t want to sleep with some senator. I wanted to be one.
“And that day, it ended.”
Now, it has to be pointed out that Reade’s story is not proven — no one but she and Joe Biden knows if it’s true, and given Joe Biden’s mental condition these days, not even that can’t be counted on.
But it also needs to be said that if a woman had come forward with this account about a Republican named, say, Ted Cruz, it’s a rock-solid bet that her name and her story would be well known to most Americans regardless of their politics, as opposed to be mainly familiar to readers of conservative websites and Fox News viewers.
The establishment media outlets — The New York Times, The Washington Post, the three major networks — would have paid far more attention.
Just look at how they treated the literally incredible accusation of a woman named Christine Blasey Ford in 2019 against then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. A woman who could not describe the time or location of an alleged assault almost four decades later, with no witnesses to back it up, had a story so shaky her own father didn’t believe it. But Democrats and their establishment media allies pretended to.
In the Reade case, if it had been a Republican named Donald Trump, she might have gotten the Congressional Gold Medal by now, given outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s cynical opportunism when it comes to attacking Trump.
But a new Congress is opening in January, one where Republicans will hold a majority in the House of Representatives, which means Tara Reade might get a more sympathetic reception on Capitol Hill than she did in 2020.
And it’s not just Republicans. Democrats have chosen New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as their new leader in the House to replace Pelosi. Back in 2020, as Fox News reminded the country after Jeffries was elected as the Dem leader, Jeffries declared that Reade’s accusations against Biden deserved a hearing.
It will be interesting to see whether Jeffries still holds that view or how long he will maintain it — given the Democratic Party’s penchant for hypocrisy the best bests are “no” or “not long” — but there’s little doubt that in the second Congress of the Joe Biden presidency, things are going to look very different in the lower chamber of Congress.
Establishment media outlets and the usual liberal suspects are still going to do their best to downplay the story. And don’t expect to see Reade becoming a regular on CNN or MSNBC anytime soon.
But with a GOP majority in the House, and conservative media heavyweights paying attention, Reade’s story won’t be going away.
It deserves to be heard, and judged, on its own.