Toi Hutchinson, president of the National Association of State Legislators and an Illinois Democratic state senator who helped launch a statewide #MeToo awareness effort, said Biden will face a tough road with the 2020 electorate if he doesn’t address the Hill hearings straight on.

“He in particular is going to have to find a way to connect to women voters and say, ‘This is what we have learned [since Biden’s time as Judiciary chairman]’, said Hutchinson, who wasn’t yet born when Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972. “It’s not going to be something he can charm out of. I think in 2018, you can’t just smile it away. I think what [Biden] does best is when he goes straight up the middle, takes it on directly. I don’t think there’s any other way. It offers an opportunity to look people square in the eye and take on this issue directly. And I think women in this country will respond to his directness.”…

“It certainly was not his best moment,” said former Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.), one of seven Democratic women who dramatically marched to the room where Senate Democrats were caucusing in 1991 in an attempt to make their case for why the vote on Thomas should be delayed as a result of Hill’s accusations. “To have railroaded that through and not listened to the other three women and let his colleagues absolutely tear her apart was absolutely horrible.”