While the mainstream media has mostly kept a lid on this story, the sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden aren’t going away soon. As PJM’s Rick Moran reported earlier this week, the D.C. police are treating the allegations as an “active and ongoing” investigation. Many liberals are turning a blind eye to the story, but there are some who have a vested interest in keeping this story alive and front and center: Bernie Bros.
In fact, Briahna Joy Gray, Bernie Sanders’ former campaign press secretary, who has been a vocal critic of Biden, suggested in an interview with The Atlantic that the allegations might just thwart Biden’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention.
Gray told Emma Green that the Democratic primary is far from over. “The Democratic Party would like us to believe [we’re now in the general election season], and they behaved that way even before Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race. But we are, in fact, still in a Democratic-primary season. Biden is only the presumptive nominee,” she said, before adding, “And there’s all kinds of whispers and rumors about whether or not something might happen at the convention, which might mean Joe Biden isn’t even the nominee.”
“Are you talking about the Tara Reade allegations?” Green asked.
“There’s a lot of reasons why Democrats might want to substitute a different person for Joe Biden as the nominee,” said Gray. “The Tara Reade allegation has been handled abysmally by the press. If anyone looks at this closely, then they will see reason for concern.”
Obviously, Gray is correct that there are reasons to be concerned. Unlike the allegations made against Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford, which were uncorroborated and had all sorts of holes in it, Tara Reade filed a complaint at the time of the alleged incident, and told her mother, her brother, and a friend who worked in Sen. Ted Kennedy’s office. By virtually any standard, her allegations are more reliable than any made against Brett Kavanaugh. That’s plenty of reason for Democrat insiders to be whispering about a Plan B for the convention.
“My preferred outcome is for the Democratic nominee to support the bedrock policies that will make them electable against Donald Trump in the fall,” Gray explained. “And my preferred outcome is for that nominee not to be so saddled with a historical record that it’s difficult for him to really run on anything. The party made a choice. Democratic officials and Barack Obama made a number of phone calls after South Carolina, convincing other people in the race to drop out and coalesce behind Joe Biden, knowing that Joe Biden had these vulnerabilities.”
Gray suggests that Democrat voters were conned into believing that Joe Biden was the most electable candidate while Reade’s allegations were ignored for over a year. A new report from The Intercept published on Friday says that new evidence supports the credibility of Tara Reade’s allegations against Biden.
I think it’s clear, based on Gray’s comments in her interview, that Bernie Bros who are not happy about Biden being the presumptive nominee are going to make sure the Tara Reade allegations don’t get swept under the rug, in the hopes that they can pull off getting a different candidate on the ballot. While this is highly unlikely, in my opinion, I’m inclined to believe that there are enough Bernie Sanders supporters who will do anything they can to thwart Biden’s nomination. Even without the Tara Reade allegations, there’s enough for Democrats to be concerned about. Biden has an enthusiasm gap that is likely not going to change, and his cognitive decline will likely become a huge liability in the fall.
Last month there also seemed to be some momentum for a Draft Cuomo movement after he received praise for his early handling of the coronavirus pandemic in New York. The situation in New York has deteriorated significantly since then, and perhaps disenchanted Democrats are no longer looking at Cuomo as an alternative, but the fact that such an alternative was considered suggests there might be buyer’s remorse over Biden—remorse that can be exacerbated by the Tara Reade allegations gaining traction in the media.
Something is definitely brewing amongst Bernie loyalists, and it could re-shape this election.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis