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So Joe Biden wants a female sexual assault survivor as his running mate. Why on Earth does he think that might be helpful?

Jason O’Toole
Jason O’Toole

Jason O’Toole is an author of several best-selling books who has worked as a senior feature writer for the Irish Daily Mail, a columnist with the Irish Sunday Mirror and senior editor of Hot Press magazine.

Jason O’Toole is an author of several best-selling books who has worked as a senior feature writer for the Irish Daily Mail, a columnist with the Irish Sunday Mirror and senior editor of Hot Press magazine.

So Joe Biden wants a female sexual assault survivor as his running mate. Why on Earth does he think that might be helpful?
The Democrat front-runner for the White House is considering Governor Gretchen Whitmer as his vice-presidential pick. But why would she – a victim herself – endorse a man with questions to answer over a sexual assault allegation?

If fame is a psychological drug,” then it’s safe to say that it looks like Gretchen Whitmer is fast on her way to becoming an out-and-out addict.

Most Americans wouldn’t have been able to pick the Michigan state governor out of a lineup before the Covid-19 pandemic brought her widespread attention and she found herself at loggerheads with Donald Trump, who is doing his utmost to undermine her hard lockdown blueprint in Michigan.

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She introduced“some of the strictest stay-at-home rules” in her home state, which is one of the hardest hit regions of the US outside of the New York epicentre. But that hasn’t stopped Trump from rubbing her nose in it by scheduling an upcoming visit on Thursday to a Ford Motor Co. factory there, which flies in the face of her new law stating that manufacturing facilities must “suspend all non-essential in-person visits, including tours.” 

The 48-year-old governor clearly relishes being in the spotlight, because she’s now announced – either naively or as a kite-flying exercise – that she’s in talks with the presumptive Democatic presidential candidate’s team about becoming his running mate on the 2020 ticket. 

“It was just an opening conversation and it's not something that I would call a professional formalized vetting,” she eagerly told ‘The Today Show' anchor Craig Melvin. “…I've had a conversation with some folks.” 

Perhaps it should really be Whitmer doing the “vetting” here herself, seeing as she is actually a survivor of sexual assault and Joe Biden has been accused of ‘digitally’ raping one of his former staffers, Tara Reade. 

Whitmer bravely shared her survivor’s story during a keynote address at a ‘Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault Summit’ at Eastern Michigan University back in December 2019, revealing how she was sexually assaulted in 1989, when she was a freshman at university: “The statistics don’t show what pain (survivors) carry. It took me two decades to find the courage to tell my story … The timing of a survivor’s report doesn’t make it any less valid … When we speak up and share our truth, people listen,” she said

Concluding her address, Whitmer offered a powerful and personal message to other sex assault survivors: “I see you, I hear you, I believe you… I carry you in my heart every day, and I’ll never stop fighting for you.”

Except, it seems, if you’re a victim called Tara Reade – a woman who also took 20-odd years to find inner strength to tell her story. 

Rather than fighting for her fellow victim, Whitmer jumped in and went in to bat for Biden earlier this month. “We need to give people an opportunity to tell their story – then we have a duty to vet it,” she told CNN. 

Yes, there is a duty to ‘vet’. The only problem is the Democrats want to bury the ‘vet’ – and their heads – in the sand rather than do the decent moral thing and properly investigate the claims. The fact that the party’s chairman Tom Perez quickly“dismissed calls” for its national committee to launch an investigation into the sordid allegation makes it clear that the Dems have sadly lost their moral compass in their desperate bid to beat Trump at all costs. 

There’s no doubt that picking Whitmer as Biden’s running mate is potentially a masterstroke for them, as it could be perceived as the ultimate validation to have an actual survivor of sexual abuse willing to cosy up to him. But it smacks of desperation to me, and I think the Republicans would find a way to use it to their own advantage. 

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I wonder how well Whitmer’s view that “not every [sexual abuse] claim is equal” will actually sit with the public if/when she gets out on the campaign trail? If she is given a national platform to spout such nonsense, it will only make even more victims reluctant to come forward. 

It’s going to be pointed out to her, again and again, that even Biden himself is on record as saying he agrees with the #MeToo’s movement’s rallying cry of “believe all women.” What was it he said again? Oh, yeah…. “For a woman to come forward in the glaring light of focus, nationally, you've got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she's talking about is real,” he categorically stated. 

Whitmer is beginning to sound like a power-hungry hypocrite.  Biden’s team could end up just adding fuel to the fire by picking her. But – even worse than that – what happens if it turns out that Tara Reade is actually telling the truth?

America may currently have a “White Nationalist in the White House,” according to US soccer star Megan Rapinoe – but it sounds like Whitmer is nothing more than a charlatan willing to participate in a whitewash… all in an effort to ride on the coat tails of an alleged sex offender to get herself into the Oval Office. 

Talk about one step forward, two steps back for women’s lib.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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