If this appeared in the umpteenth paragraph of an American newspaper, it would serve as a great example of burying the lede. Even for the Times of London, Rep. Ilhan Omar’s declaration of solidarity with Tara Reade seems a lot more newsworthy than her dully predictable feelings about Donald Trump — or “Cheetoh,” as she calls the president. Way down deep into a profile springboarding off of Omar’s new autobiography, readers discover that Omar believes Reade’s story — and would prefer another candidate lead the Democratic ticket in November (via Twitchy):
Say what you like about Omar, and people have, and people will, she is undeniably a woman doing it on her own terms. “I am a natural starter of fires,” she writes in the book and she finishes with one more burst of flame, emphasising that she believes the sexual assault allegations made by Tara Reade against Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, which Biden has denied. “I do believe Reade,” she says. “Justice can be delayed, but should never be denied.” If it was up to her, she says, Biden wouldn’t be the candidate.
I bet she doesn’t, and that may be a large part of what is driving Omar’s embrace of Reade. Omar had backed Bernie Sanders for nomination, don’t forget, and had called a Biden nomination “tragic” last October. Reade’s allegations came out several weeks ago, but Omar’s gripe about Biden goes back at least months, if not longer. Plus, Biden’s comments on Omar’s beloved BDS Movement will not make Omar much more positively inclined toward Biden, although those didn’t come up in the interview.
In fact, Biden doesn’t come up much at all, which makes this big reveal seem rather inconsequential. Omar says she’d prefer Biden not be the candidate, but that’s nothing new, and that’s not saying much either — especially if she actually believes Reade. Reade is alleging a sexual assault, even a rape by strict definition. If Omar now says she thinks Reade is telling the truth, then why hasn’t Omar demanded Biden’s withdrawal from the race? Wouldn’t that be cause for a major protest, not just a footnote, as the Times treats it? Joe Biden’s name only comes up three times in this article, all three in the one paragraph excerpted above. In contrast, Trump comes up as a recurring theme throughout with ten different mentions in the text and another three in photo captions. Omar’s focus on Trump makes it appear that Omar’s belief in Reade is rather, ah … superficial.
One might even cast her solidarity with Reade as a bit of a cheat — or a Cheetoh, so to speak.
In case you’re thinking that the book might be worth a read, though, be sure you know what you’re buying:
Being in Omar’s family sounds fairly intense. Being in her company for 90 minutes is pretty intense too, a barrage of war stories and leftist screeds, demands for pandemic rent cancellations and free healthcare for all. Yet for once, this fiercely private congresswoman is in the mood to open up. She’s written a memoir, This Is What America Looks Like, about her journey from bullet-ridden Mogadishu to marble-clad Capitol Hill.
I’ll pass. And pass some Cheetohs instead.