What should Democrats do about the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden?

Suddenly the party of #BelieveWomen isn't sure who to believe

Joe Biden.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock, Screenshot/New York Times)

After the brief but intense drama of the early primaries, things have settled down quite quickly in the contest for the Democratic nomination for president. With former Vice President Joe Biden already the presumptive nominee, it should be a moment of well-earned healing and consolidation for the party. Yet instead it's one marked by anxiety about a sexual assault allegation that threatens to weaken Biden's general election prospects even before the campaign gets started.

Biden's bid for the presidency wouldn't have been threatened by the kind of allegations originally brought forth by Tara Reade, a former staff assistant to Biden's Senate office in the early 1990s. Interviewed by The Associated Press last April about Biden's handsiness problem with numerous women down through the decades, she indicated only that Biden had rubbed her shoulders, neck, and hair. That's inappropriate and more than a little creepy by today's standards of professionalism but hardly unusual for a male politician of Biden's age.

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