In a new Op-Ed for CNN, former Obama advisor David Axelrod says Obama’s team didn’t find any claims of misconduct against former Joe Biden when vetting him in 2008 for Vice President.
Axelrod contends “Dozens of women and men under consideration were reviewed. Those who rose on the list of contenders were subject to a deep-dive investigation of their strengths, vulnerabilities and, of course, any disqualifying defects. At the top of the list of those contenders was Senator Joseph R. Biden of Delaware.”
If Axelrod is correct, it may call into question where Tara Reade’s formal complaint may be held.
Axelrod writes “The comprehensive vet certainly would have turned up any formal complaints filed against Biden during his 36-year career in the Senate. It did not. The team would have investigated any salacious rumors of the sort that travel far and wide in Washington. There were none.
While I was not on the vetting team, as senior strategist to the campaign, I was briefed on their work and potential problems.
Through that entire process, the name Tara Reade never came up. No formal complaint. No informal chatter. Certainly, no intimation of sexual harassment or assault from her or anyone else. The team of investigators, expert in their work, would not have missed it.”
Axelrod also adds that if a credible accusation was found, Obama would not have picked Biden to be his running mate.
“Had any credible issue been raised, you can be sure Biden would not have been the nominee.” Axelrod writes “Obama would not have tolerated it, even if he and Biden were close then, which they were not. Their friendship grew only after Biden joined the ticket and through their eight-year partnership in the White House. At that time, they were distant Senate colleagues and most recently rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.”
Axelrod acknowledges at the end of his piece “Women who come forward deserve to be taken seriously and treated with respect, and Tara Reade’s story should be heard and thoroughly investigated.” He then adds “But it is striking that when an experienced vetting team put Biden under a microscope before he was chosen to be second-in-line for the presidency, neither her allegations, nor anything resembling them in Biden’s history, showed up.”