Stacey Abrams defends Biden on Tara Reade's accusation: "He will make women proud as the next president"

She really wants that VP slot.

I mean, we knew that she really wants it. But we didn’t know that she really wants it.

HuffPost contacted nine different candidates on Biden’s VP shortlist, all of them women, seeking comment on Reade’s accusation. Only one replied. The thirstiest candidate of ’em all.

HuffPost contacted nine people on Biden’s rumored shortlist: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Val Demings (D-Fl.) and Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee in the 2018 Georgia governor’s race.

In response to questions about Reade’s allegations in general and the Business Insider report Monday with contemporaneous corroboration from Reade’s neighbor, only Abrams responded.

“I believe women deserve to be heard, and I believe that has happened here,” Abrams told HuffPost in an email. “The allegations have been heard and looked into, and for too many women, often, that is not the case. The New York Times conducted a thorough investigation, and nothing in the Times review or any other later reports suggests anything other than what I already know about Joe Biden: That he will make women proud as the next President of the United States.”

The Times’s story was published on April 12 and included this passage: “A friend said that Ms. Reade told her about the alleged assault at the time, in 1993. A second friend recalled Ms. Reade telling her in 2008 that Mr. Biden had touched her inappropriately and that she’d had a traumatic experience while working in his office.” Since then, two women (possibly the same two mentioned in the Times piece, possibly different) told Business Insider that Reade had shared a story decades ago about her former boss in the Senate harassing her. One specifically corroborated the most lurid details of the assault described by Reade. The video of Reade’s mother calling into Larry King’s show in 1993 and complaining about her daughter’s trouble with a “prominent senator” has also surfaced since then.

Abrams’s response doesn’t reckon with any of it. From what she says about Biden having done nothing to contradict her opinion that he’ll make women proud as president, one can only assume that she flatly doesn’t believe Reade and the women who’ve corroborated parts of her story. Per the Federalist, in 2018 Abrams said of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, “I believe women, and I believe survivors of violence always deserve to be supported and to have their voices heard.” Oh?

All of our progressive heroes aren’t as progressive about #MeToo as they’d like us to believe. Especially ones who really want to be VP.

Abrams isn’t the most prominent Democratic woman to disappoint Reade today, though:

Tara Reade slammed Hillary Clinton for offering her endorsement to former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday after the former Senate staffer came forward last month with an allegation of sexual assault against the presumptive Democratic nominee.

“I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. I voted for her in the primary. I’m a lifelong Democrat. But yet, what I see now is someone enabling a sexual predator and it was my former boss, Joe Biden, who raped me,” Reade told Fox News. “Hillary Clinton has a history of enabling powerful men to cover up their sexual predatory behaviors and their inappropriate sexual misconduct. We don’t need that for this country. We don’t need that for our new generation coming up that wants institutional rape culture to change.”

She added: “I will not be smeared, dismissed or ignored. I stand in truth and I will keep speaking out.”

Enabling powerful sexual predators? That doesn’t sound like the Hillary Clinton I know.

Am I right, by the way, that Biden’s socially-distanced endorsement photo op with Hillary today drew not a single question from the media about the Reade allegations? It’d seem like a natural topic to broach with the reigning Democratic nominee, who also happens to be the first woman major-party nominee in U.S. history, who also happens to be married to a guy who’s been credibly accused of rape. Doesn’t look like it came up, though. Fancy that.

As for Abrams, it’s deeply cynical but also clever for her to signal her willingness to defend Biden on this very uncomfortable subject. That’s a point in her favor in the veepstakes: This could become a recurring storyline of the general election, with Democrats forced to play awkward defense by Trump on #MeToo issues (never mind the numerous allegations against him). Having not just a woman but a progressive woman of color vouching for his credibility against Reade would be a valuable political asset for Biden. Just because Abrams is waaay underqualified for the job and is shameless enough to publicly campaign for it anyway doesn’t mean she doesn’t have qualifications to commend her for it. Exit quotation from Dem Rep. Lacy Clay, who’s unimpressed with Abrams’s VP PR effort: “You know, at the race track, you cannot show up at the winner’s window with loser’s tickets. You haven’t won anything. You can’t show up at the winner’s window with loser’s tickets and demand anything.”