As you most likely know by now, former Vice President Joe Biden declared his candidacy for president earlier today. However, one of his stumbling blocks is former law professor Anita Hill. He was widely criticized for mishandling Hill’s testimony to senators when she appeared in front of them during the Clarence Thomas hearings.
Essentially, she says his apology to her, which he offered earlier this month, is not good enough. In an interview with the NY Times, also published today, Hill says Biden did not address the consequences of how he handled her Senate Judiciary Committee testimony in 1991.
“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you,” she said. “I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose.”
Here’s more via HuffPost:
Biden was serving as the committee chairman when Hill came forward with allegations that then-Supreme Court nominee Thomas had sexually harassed her at two different jobs. Biden has long faced criticism for mishandling how Hill’s testimony was presented to the senators before they ultimately voted to confirm Thomas, who denied all of her allegations.
“The focus on apology to me is one thing,” she continued. “But he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw. And not just women. There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence.”
Specifically, Biden is blamed for not shielding Hill from Republican attacks during the hearing and for the way he structured the hearing. Notably, he allowed Thomas to testify before Hill, and he did not call upon three female witnesses who planned to bolster Hill’s testimony with accounts of their own experiences with Thomas.
The issue has been hanging over Biden’s head for years and has hurt him politically. In fact, over the years, it’s gotten worse. Jest recently he was making news because of women coming forward to say that he inappropriately touched them in the past.
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