Joe Biden Called Anita Hill After Prodding. But He’s Still Not Apologizing.

Mr. Biden, appearing on “The View,” offered remorse but not a straightforward apology about a controversy that has shadowed the start of his campaign.

Comments: 243

  1. Dems, mark my words, the country does not want socialism, free tuition, open borders, Medicare for all and soaking the upper middle class. It want fundamental fairness, equal chances, the opportunity to get a reasonably priced education, the opportunity to buy reasonably priced health care even with preexisting conditions, the opportunity to have a good paying job if willing to work for it and, regulation on corporate greed. This twist to the very left which is being fueled by a few loud speakers will result in the re-election of Trump.

  2. @Rainy Night I guess you learned nothing from the Hillary disaster? Strange, how the neo-liberals in the Democratic party demand endless do-overs, but have no patience for anyone who wants actual change.... Maybe it's time to step aside, in favor of what you call "the left" -- meaning, centrist in any other industrial democracy. It's called "fundamental fairness", though you don't actually seem to like it much.

  3. Shifting a higher percentage of profits to employees.; keeping coverage for preexisting conditions from inflating the costs; providing an inexpensive education. These are radical now. Yes there are decent if not perfect places to stop short of the more ambitious demands by Bernie and others, but we aren't going to get those moderate goals without some hard pushes from the left.

  4. @Rainy Night Agreed!!! What many people do not understand is middle America. I live and breathe it with Democrats and Republicans that voted for Trump. I understand them. Biden does too. They do not want an apology tour. And neither do I. Mistakes are mistakes...move on. Middle America is tired of people apologizing all the time. He does that and he loses. And I'm sorry middle America does not want hard core liberal ideals, even if polls say they are more liberal minded.

  5. Biden also held a fund raiser yesterday in Pennsylvania at the home of a corporate lobbyist with executives from Verizon (who oppose net neutrality) and Blue Cross (who oppose Medicare for All). Does this publication, to which I subscribe, plan on doing any reporting on that? Or is it just going to be Uncle Average Joe puff-pieces from here on out?

  6. @Dominic. This, not his handling of the Clarence Thomas hearings, nor his touchy feely approach to women is why Biden is nowhere near the top of my list. Whenever the powers that be have needed a friend in Congress Biden’s been there for him. We can do better.

  7. @Dominic I did not know this, Dominic. Thank you for posting it. I read it in the NYT. under your name.

  8. @Dominic, lemme guess. A Sanders supporter? Bernie Sanders Ralph Nadered Clinton, he has no standing to be leading the Democratic Party ever again.

  9. Biden needs to make two apologies. The first directly to Anita Hill. He should say, “I am sorry that I treated you so abominably, and allowed others to do the same. You are an honorable, courageous woman, and I let dishonorable, cowardly men attack you.” The second is to all of us. He should say, “I am sorry that I allowed that charade of a hearing to happen, which resulted in the supremely unqualified Clarence Thomas becoming a SCOTUS judge. He is a terrible human being who treated women with contempt. He is also a lousy jurist, not up to Supreme Court standards. Enabling Thomas’ confirmation was as big a mistake for me as treating Anita Hill with such disrespect. I am deeply sorry.”

  10. @John Ranta Thomas was going to get confirmed in any case with support from conservative Dems. The real question now is why, when Trump and the Reps are shredding women's rights like freedom of choice, Anita Hill thinks it is a positive step for her to criticize needlessly Joe Biden, the Dem candidate best positioned to defeat Trump in the key states of PA, MI, and WI.

  11. @John Ranta I agree with the first part, but the second part is just a bad idea. The GOP would just accuse him of attacking the impartial judiciary and sour grapes (yes, I know Trump does both of those things too. When has hypocrisy mattered to them?), and for what? Thomas is on the Court for life. What benefit is there to a presidential candidate going after him?

  12. @Dave D Joe Biden is NOT "the Dem candidate best positioned to defeat Trump in the key states of PA, MI, and WI." He is Hillary-lite...he is another establishment Dem that the party elites are comfortable having as their nominee. Think back how Trump clobbered Hillary, a similar middle of the road establishment Democrat. Just because he grew up in Scranton doesn't make him perfect presidential material. We don't want another neoliberal Democrat that is beholden to big business, wall street, big pharma, big banks, etc. and where nothing of true importance (green new deal, medicare for all, taxing the rich and large corporations appropriately, etc.) will be accomplished.

  13. Yes, it would have been more enobling for Biden to have said, "I am sorry I did not do more to have stopped what was happening to you during the confirmation hearings." Biden saying that, would have implied more individual responsibility for his own actions, despite the 30 years of progress in our culture in recognizing racism and sexism. When men witness oppression directed toward women, I do believe they have a responsibility to speak up. Anita is a woman of color, and was suffering from the results of two oppressions.

  14. An apology without "I" in it is meaningless. He says he regrets what happened to her but doesn't acknowledge his participation. When will men learn that acknowledging that their actions were wrong doesn't make them appear weak (their biggest fear)? "I was wrong" goes a long way when trying to repair a damaged relationship and usually results in more respect, not less, when accompanied by a change in behavior moving forward. Pretty simple stuff.

  15. @Margarat Amen!! "I regret how you were treated" is almost as ridiculous as saying "I regret you missed your flight even though I really had nothing to do with it". I don’t dislike Biden, I happen to think he is a decent man, but I remember those hearings, and believe that an apology is in order. We all make mistakes.

  16. @Margarat Exactly!

  17. @Margarat Do you even know anything about the Senate hearing in question? Have you read a time-line of how it went down? I'll bet not. Joe ran the hearing as its Chairman, and yes, he could have done things a little differently, perhaps better, but he didn't do anything directly to Hill. He wasn't one of the Rethuglicans that were deriding her and accusing her of wrong doing. Get over it already. Joe doesn't need to apologize for it any more than he already has.

  18. No more apologies! Every time Biden makes further apologies, the goalposts are moved. "Well, you didn't say X, you need to say Y, say it now!" Women either accept that Biden's apologies to date are sufficient or they can refuse to vote for him but it is time to move on.

  19. @Lynn in DC Yeah, except for one thing. He has never apologized. He has only made excuses. As if he had not had a direct influence in causing "what she endured". And I've been ready to move on from Joe Biden for 25 years. Unfortunately he won't shut up.

  20. @Lynn in DC This male will not be voting for Biden for his failures on this subject, among many others, even though I like Joe and would love to grab a beer with him. He has too many issues (a number of which brought down his past Presidential runs). There are numerous quality individuals among the Dems I would be happy to vote for that I don't have to worry about old age concerns while President. And I think any of them will beat the very weak current President, if he is the candidate.

  21. @Lynn in DC no more apologies? The article centers on his refusal to make even one.

  22. Why would anyone accept an apology at this point. It would only be done because he wants to run for president, it is completely fake. People act like if they force him to say "I" it counts.

  23. The Democrats are doomed because the blowback for past social injustices is cresting beyond reason and causing temporarily irreparable division at a time when unity is required to beat Trump. All the social media posts with generic insults centered in the unworthiness of older white men is a clue but more importantly no one on earth can ever clear the high hurdle of liberal purity and deference to the literally countless classes of real and perceived social injustices of the past. There are a significant number of people who genuinely believe that one must be a member of any class they seek to represent and there are an infinite number of classes claiming historic injustice and discrimination. It will be an interesting show but there is no way for Democrats to overcome this, which is a real shame.

  24. I am finding it difficult to understand why we expect politicians to be perfect, to have a perfect record, an unblemished past, before they can stand for election. There are no perfect people in this world. The other thing is why we now seem to have the rule that a candidate has to represent a particular social group. Let's get past this tribalism: a human being with experience of life can represent other human beings. He or she does not have to belong to a particular class. What empirical evidence do we have that that has improved life for constituents in the past?

  25. @Giant Monster infinite number of classes? I count women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. I doubt that any of the injustices that they have (and continue to) suffered could be legitimately described as "perceived." As to having to belong to that class of people which one hopes to represent, I don't find that particularly outrageous, but I don't think that that is what people require. I think that people require that you demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity toward the people that you hope to represent.

  26. @Dr John Olsson The litmus test is now perfection - except Christ, Buddah, et. al. aren't running.

  27. Similar to a friend's condolences on your being abused, but still keeps up a friendly relationship with the abuser because, "He never did anything to me." Ouch.

  28. Joe, you just don't get it. Maybe your ego is getting in the way but you have responsibility for how the Thomas hearing was conducted and as a consequence, for Thomas's lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. I hope the Democrats have enough smarts to pass over your name for their nomination.

  29. @wm.h.evans This is NOT going to go down well with women, but I think Anita Hill should get over it. I don't remember the details of the hearing, but from my frame of reference, she should have stood up for herself, and if that didn't work - QUIT!!! I have no sympathy for women who play victim(s).!!

  30. @wm.h.evans, do you even remember the hearings? I watched them start to finish. You aren't talking about them like someone who really knows how Clarence Thomas ended up on the Supreme Court. My guess is you don't, and yours and many other's real objection to Joe Biden is that you don't want a Boomer to run. Boomer's activism ended the Vietnam war. Yours has produced a rotting social media that supports bombings and shootings. Joe Biden is an expert on foreign policy. Why does everybody know everything except the context about the Thomas hearings, and nothing about the fall of Ferdinand Marcos (Joe Biden's fight with Reagan over it produced perhaps the most famous political quote of all time), nothing about Iran-Contra, nothing about countering GWB, all important things Senator Biden did. We need that right now. Donald Trump is working for Moscow, Rapture Mike is trying to hasten Armageddon, and Jared Kushner's best friend is the head of the religion that killed 250 Sri Lankans last week.

  31. And once again we Democrats and liberals eat our own with this focus on nearly 30 years ago. I am convinced that the biggest obstacle to defeating the political and sexual predator monster Donald Trump will be Democrats seeking purity in their nominee and a news media that continues to trivialize genuinely important policy issues in favor of reporting on unimportant behaviors of 30 years ago.


  33. @Dan Lauber Well said! The complaints are so much righteous trivia. Biden can beat Trump. Elect him.

  34. Are we seeking purity or do Americans actually need relief from high cost of for profit health care and higher education?

  35. Oh come on, leave him alone already. He's given more apologies or expressions of regret, whatever you want to call them, than most people give in a lifetime and certainly way, way more than the current President. I don't see why he has to continously apologize over and over again for the same things. Get over it.

  36. @DS Because he is running for president. If all he wanted was to be left alone, he could simply retire, or at least not attempt to gain the presidency. I don't think his transgressions are so bad they need follow him around through civilian life. However, we should have higher standards for those we CHOOSE to lead us as a nation. And, in my opinion, Joe Biden does not meet those standards.

  37. An apology and expression of regret are two different things. Biden has done the latter but not the former. An expression of regret is merely saying that you regret the way that a set of circumstances played out. An apology means that you have taken responsibility for your actions and the consequences that resulted from them. It has been nearly 30 years and Biden still can't bring himself to take responsibility for his role in the confirmation of Clarence Thomas and the vilification of Anita Hill. I am a Democrat, and while I will not hesitate to vote for Biden should he be the nominee, I refuse to vote for someone in the primary who has not demonstrated the ability to admit when he or she was wrong and apologize for his or her actions.

  38. Neat. That cuts down on the number of candidates I have to seriously consider.

  39. @Randall AMEN to that.

  40. Joe Biden is a distraction and an embrassament. Many voters may have wanted a third Obama term in 2016, but that's gone now. We have many candidates that I as a lifelong Democrat would be proud to vote for but Biden is not one of them Go away, Joe.

  41. Just to be clear, it was other people who attacked Hill in these hearings, correct? Then perhaps Biden felt that, while he did not agree with them, they were within their rights to say what they wanted to say, and that he had no business suppressing them. And perhaps he felt that calling further witnesses on the topics of pubic hairs, Coke cans, and Long Dong Silver would ultimately not be germane to the question of Thomas's qualifications, and hence a fool's errand. Do we seriously think that if, today, a nominee for Supreme Court Justice had asked an assistant out and made off-color remarks about a pubic hair on a Coke can, this would be *disqualifying*? Please bear in mind that we just read the romantic story of Bill and Melinda Gates (where he was her superior at Microsoft). I think that Biden could have thought, "Is Hill saying that Thomas ever touched her? No. Okay, then this does not ascend to the level of what determines qualifications."

  42. Hey, someone gets it!

  43. The apology should have taken place at a face to face meeting twenty years ago. To do a half baked apology now all these years later is nothing but political opportunism. I like Joe Biden. I believe he is a kind and decent man. There are very few people that have dedicated forty years of their life to public service who have a net worth, including their home, of less than two million dollars. Joe Biden never used his time in government to cash in as the Clinton's and the majority of other office holders have done. Joe Biden will not be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020. If my party has any sense it will not nominate Biden or Sanders. Both men are approaching 80 years of age and are too old and too out of touch for the times we live in and the challenges we face. The path to victory in 2020 is clear if the Democrats don't stumble by trying to appeal only to the far left. There should be a woman heading the ticket and her running mate should also be a woman. Whether it's Harris/Klobuchar or Warren/Gillibrand or some sort of combination that is the choice I hope my party makes. Trump, who never knew the meaning of the world loyalty, is likely to dump Pence for Nikki Haley. Since the Republicans lost suburban women in the midterm elections this would be a smart move. Joe Biden would be an excellent Secretary of State. He knows every foreign leader and is respected around the world. He's a good man but his time has long since passed.

  44. @Mark Jeffery Koch I sincerely do not think a woman can beat Trump. Mainly because there are too many men and women who do not like strong women, let alone one running the country. Apparently, you are in the minority, which I congratulate you! Despite his age, I think, at the moment, Biden is the Democrats best chance to defeat Trump -- which should be their ONLY goal.

  45. @Mark Jeffery Koch I DISAGREE

  46. @Mark Jeffery Koch I like all your picks but not Gillibrand. YOu want to talk opportunist? Check out her history as a lawmaker. I wouldn't rule out Sanders, either. He's more in touch than most half his age.

  47. Unlike our current President, I prefer a "Buck stops here" approach to the Presidency I want a leader who takes responsibility. Joe Biden did not show leadership during these hearings when he lead them. He has yet to take responsibility for his actions in the over 25 years since. Next candidate.

  48. @Omrider Did you watch the hearings back then? Do you know what negotiations went on behind the scenes? Do you know what Joe Biden had to deal with in that political environment? I don't think you do. Anita Hill thinks she was a victim of "gender violence". She got her chance to make her case on national television, thanks to Joe Biden. Finding his actions and "leadership" to be unforgivable as you and Anita Hill do is churlish and childish.

  49. I remember watching those hearings live, and I do not remember a single time Biden treated Ms. Hill badly. He was very personable to everyone. Strom Thurmond and Arlen Specter were another story. Is that what Biden is being blamed for--that he didn't cut off their microphones or something? Did he even have the authority to do so? The "she persisted" incident where Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced is now a feminist rallying cry. Are people seriously saying that Joe Biden had the power to prevent Senators Thurmond and Specter from questioning Anita Hill? I don't think he had that power. Honestly, what is it he was supposed to have done differently?

  50. @Ann I was with you, and then I read Anita's account of their call. She has one good point about his complicity: "including his failure to call as corroborating witnesses other women who were willing to testify before the Judiciary Committee. By leaving them out, she said, he created a “he said, she said” situation that did not have to exist."

  51. @Ann He was supposed to call her corroborating witnesses to testify.

  52. Biden failed to do several things at the hearings. First, he failed to make it clear that hearings were about Clarence Thomas's fitness for one of the most important jobs in the country, and that Anita Hill was not on trial;. Second, he should have disallowed the witnesses that were brought in simply to malign Anita Hill as opposed to witnesses who may have actually seen Thomas's behavior. Third, he should have disallowed discussions about off-topic points such as Anita Hill's dating live; Fourth, he oddly decided that the standard of proof should be "beyond a reasonable doubt", which is standard for criminal conduct. We use that standard in criminal cases because the cost of sending an innocent person to jail is considered too high, and is worth taking the chance that a guilty person is set free. In this case, it should have been up to Clarence Thomas to demonstrate that he was fit for one of the highest jobs in the country; if he was not selected, his "punishment" was to continue serving on the US Court of appeals. On the contrary, by not vetting him properly, we have been saddled with a barely competent judge, who never adds anything to the debate, but votes based on his resentment. Joe Biden also set the template that allowed the Republicans to approach the Kavanaugh hearings as requiring a criminal standard of proof, rather than as a job interview where someone must demonstrate his/her fitness for the job.

  53. Then he loses the nomination and perhaps our best chance to defeat Trump. What he should have said is, "I am sorry I didn't handle the hearing more fairly. I mistreated Anita Hill and owe her and women in general in similar situations an apology. I can't redo the past but I can try to make amends in the future. If I am elected and a Supreme Court vacancy arises, I will offer it to Ms. Hill."

  54. @james haynes Because a candidate didn't give *exactly* the answer you wanted on what is, to be honestly objective, of almost no importance, you are disqualifying him to be President? You deserve Trump.

  55. @James haynes That doesn't remotely reflect his position and we don't hand out Supreme Court nominations as remedies for prior acts.

  56. @james Haynes - then he would have to admit he did something wrong.... it's well known Politicians NEVER do that.

  57. His answers to the questions about Anita Hill were awful, a non apology, apology. Equally disturbing was his rambling speech patterns, as he searched for the correct word or phrase. He has not issued a single policy statement just trump is bad. We all know trump is bad for the country and world, we want to know what you would do to clean up the mess the current dotard in the oval created?

  58. Joe, just lump all this stuff together and say, “at the time I said and did what I thought to be right”. “I am a person with conviction not one that says what my base wants to hear. “

  59. Whenever I see the word "regret" where "sorry" or "apologize" should be, I smell parsing. It does not depend on what the meaning of is is... Eight magic words for all occasions requiring an apology. Politicians and the rest of us, please take note. "I was wrong. I'm sorry. It won't happen again." How hard can this be...uncomfortable, yes, but not impossible

  60. @Peggy @Peggy Corrected Post: Whenever I see the word "regret" where "sorry" or "apologize" should be, I smell parsing. It does not depend on what the meaning of is is... Nine (not eight) magic words for all occasions requiring an apology. Politicians and the rest of us, please take note. "I was wrong. I'm sorry. It won't happen again." How hard can this be...uncomfortable, yes, but not impossible

  61. @Peggy Corrected Post: Whenever I see the word "regret" where "sorry" or "apologize" should be, I smell parsing. It does not depend on what the meaning of is is... None (not eight) magic words for all occasions requiring an apology. Politicians and the rest of us, please take note. "I was wrong. I'm sorry. It won't happen again." How hard can this be...uncomfortable, yes, but not impossible

  62. Not good enough, Mr. Biden. Our hope is to be done with an arrogant misogynist, one who is incapable of apologizing because of his consuming narcissism. At the time, Senator Biden was a major voice during the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings. Mr. Biden's input was and remains to this day one of his most lasting mistakes. His refusal to directly apologize to Anita Hill reveals his inability to accept the mores of today. I was at first happy that he entered the race. But I can not shake the feeling that he is an anachronism and still a part of the "old boys' club." I am 74, a Democrat, and a woman with grown daughters. And I say that our present candidates, women and men, get the 21st Century and its complex challenges more than Joe Biden does. I wonder how he would have acted, and reacted, if he were part of the Kavanaugh hearings. I suggest he read up on She The People. They are a growing and advocating group who will have a major influence on how women of color, as well as all women, will vote in 2020.

  63. It's called OWNERSHIP. The first step in redemption is totally, honestly, owning one's actions. Joe Biden would do well to say: "I regret how I treated Anita Hill in October, 1991." "I regret not allowing corroborating testimony from Angela Wright to be admitted." "I regret allowing some questionable (lascivious) comments to be aired in the room where, incidentally, Anita Hill's parents were seated at the time." This is ownership. Admit to the wrongs you committed or allowed to be committed. Then apologize in the active voice (Don't say "I regret it happened." Say "I regret I let it happen.") Many people point out that President Trump lies. Note that the power of words is not just in their veracity but also in the way they are expressed. Direct, to the point, honest. Admit when you're wrong. Accept blame when you deserve it.

  64. Biden suppressed testimony by witnesses who supported Anita Hill’s testimony. Furthermore, Biden facilitated the appointment of Thomas to the Supreme Court and even voted for him. For me this is unforgivable. Add to that his paid ($200,000) speech for a Republican Congressional candidate in 2018 tells you all you need to know about good ‘ol Joe.

  65. Biden did NOT vote for Clarence Thomas.

  66. Women worked to win the midterms for the Dems. We have several terrific women candidates for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020. Joe can go away. He is part of the problem and will not win the nomination or the presidency. The Democratic party continues to ignore or disrespect or take for granted its base--women, including and maybe especially, women of color--at its peril.

  67. What Biden does not seem to understand is the relationship between his intent and another person's feelings. I can believe he did not intend to hurt Anita Hill-or anyone else. But anyone else's feelings are their own and their response to his behavior was that they felt hurt. Please Joe - just say 'I'm sorry, very very sorry that my behavior resulted in your pain. I'm sorry I hurt you.'

  68. The anti-Biden writers seem to want a repeat of Gene McCarthy, George McGovern, and Mike Dukakis, or maybe they never even heard of them. Look at the list and you'll see that the House was taken in 2018 by centrist Democrats who are actively working to turn things around.

  69. back in 1974 I supported the war in Vietnam and hated the protesters, thank goodness I was only 16 and could not enlist.I know now the protesters were right and the war was wrong, We do get smarter as we get older

  70. Nothing wrong with saying,”I’m sorry for the abusive and disrespectful treatment you had to endure at the Clarence Thomas hearings and I apologize for any part I played in it.” He needs to move from the passive voice to the active voice for the apology to seem even remotely sincere.

  71. Replace “any” with “the,” and it’s perfect.

  72. Let us not forget that Merrick Garland didn't even get a hearing because McConnell felt he could circumvent the Constitution. Democrats have to come together to defeat the toxic political maneuvering of Trump and McConnell.

  73. I suppose Joe thinks he's showing strength but it's just political chicanery. Too bad. He's a nice guy but we can't fall into the habit of thinking 'Well, he's better than Trump." We still need to find enduring and exceptional qualities in our candidates (for ANY) public office. Go home Joe. Allow us to retain some admiration and liking for you. It's legacy time.

  74. Clueless, and is further proof that Biden lives in his own ego bubble where he believes that his good works negate all the bad. His treatment of Anita Hill was awful and he should have apologized years ago. But beyond all that, here’s the thing, America doesn’t need an Obama-Biden Presidency again, it needs real change. Sorry Joe, you missed your moment.

  75. I have grown deeply frustrated with the way the Times reports on Obama, Biden, Clinton, and all politicians associated with the former administration. While Trump and most of his associates horribly fail in pretty much every aspect of basic human decency, the contributors at the Times seem to think that the Obama administration was made out of flawless folks. I am growing tired of reading day in and day out how horrible a person Trump and his associates are (which we already know) and how great and decent the Obama “team members” are. I´d like to see more unbiased reporting that fairly includes ALL the other political actors, some of whom are clearly decent, prepared and capable people trying to fix America´s moral compass.

  76. It didn't take long for the Liberal media to start dumping all over Biden. He's way too moderate to be President in their view. I used to be a Democrat but I don't recognize them anymore. They've turned into a bunch of apologist socialists, with a revisionist view of US history and an overpronounced zeal for climate change.

  77. I doubt if any apology or expiation will suffice. Some will consider this and all his other "baggage" unforgivable and will continue to dog him with little discussion of what his ideas might be. That is why Trump is looking forward to running against him.

  78. Time for Anita Hill to get over it. Go to a counselor and express your anger and grief. And, move on with your life. By dwelling on the past, you are doing no one any favors, least of all, anyone close to you, no matter the color of one's skin: black, white, yellow, etc. Or, male or female. Women may rejoice in publicly denouncing every male that has affected their life since birth, but there is a limit to all of the whining. We have professionals to out the demons in our life. It's time for the woman's movement to be positive and do something that makes a difference in our society. No wonder Democrats can't win the presidency!

  79. Another non-apology "apology." When will they ever learn?

  80. Enough already! Biden is being attacked for not properly apologizing to Anita Hill while we have Trump sitting in the White House, surely smiling as the Dems self-destruct. Biden is a good guy and a good candidate but is not perfect. If you want to win the White House, move forward! We do not Trump to win re-election!

  81. @Kbps This is a political hit job by another campaign because he is the front runner now. Maybe even a republican scam.

  82. Why do we live in a culture that believes that being sorry is equivalent to being weak? Joe come on! This is easy!!

  83. He doesn't think he treated Anita Hill badly? Oh Veep Biden, you have gotten not a thing out of the past decades or the #metoo movement. This is the very reason I could never vote for Joe Biden in two words: Anita Hill. I remember those hearings as a much younger woman. I could not watch all of it live, but what I saw on the news made me feel uncomfortable, in a way I could not then articulate. That there were witnesses that could corroborated Ms. Hill's testimony and Biden blocked them may have altered history. How can Biden not even directly apologize? It's not that Biden is too old, it's that he still doesn't get it.

  84. @gmt Why didn't she come out in 2008 and 2012? Time to move forward about what he can do tomorrow to repair the damage inflicted by the Trump administration.

  85. Good for you, Joe Biden. I'm sick of pandering politicians who talk a lot but never get anything done. You did do a good job in the Anita Hill fiasco. What happened was not your fault. It was, among other things, the fault of Anita Hill herself. The Democratic field is full of people who talk a good game and look good on television but have never accomplished anything of merit. Kamala Harris, for example. I've followed her career and cannot believe that she is a serious candidate for the presidency. And Pete Buttigieg? Give me a break. I'm not a fan of Joe Biden's politics, but I do like the way he stands up for himself and for what he has done. Anyone with a long career will have failures to go along with accomplishments. Those with a clean record have done nothing. Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren. Big hat. No cattle.

  86. @John Smithson Nothing? Sanders may not have sponsored as many bills as Biden (and also has far less to apologize for for his time in the Senate), but pushed through more amendments than any other Senator. Additionally, by all accounts, he was quite an effective mayor in Burlington. Warren established the CPFB, and while Dodd-Frank is considered watered down by most leftist standards, she is one of the only voices in the Senate to unequivocally come down on predatory financial institutions and their treatment in a dual justice system. Both of them have actual platforms. Why are we obsessing over Biden being asked about his record?

  87. I’m tired of Joe Biden equivocating. As usual. No credit to him for being unequivocal about Trump. Who isn’t?

  88. Biden's continued inability or unwillingness to own up to his past actions and accept responsibility should be taken as a warning by Democratic voters. We need leadership and vision in 2020, not somebody who shirks public criticism and can't own up to past mistakes. This isn't how you motivate the base.

  89. Apologize for what exactly? Both Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford were given a platform to address alleged past behavior of SCOTUS nominees they felt was disqualifying. In both cases, the process played out as designed with both nominees being confirmed. End of story. The politics of either one notwithstanding.

  90. Anita Hill is owned an apology by Biden for his treatment of her. He was a snarling pit bull after damning evidence against Clarence Thomas and had no consideration for the feelings of a woman who reluctantly stepped into that political take-down attempt. She was used by the Democrats led by Ted Kennedy and did not deserve the treatment she received from Biden and the rest of the committee. How Biden treated women since then is far worse than anything Clarence Thomas was alleged to have done.

  91. Politically correctness run amok. Everyone is so pure.

  92. This liberal historical revisionism has to stop. If not where does it end? Is the world just supposed to come to a halt while we all apologize to each other for slights, real or imagined, that may or may not have happened at any point in the past? Get real. Learn to let go and move on already. Grow a thicker skin. No where is it written you get to go through life without ever having to be put upon in any way, shape, or form.

  93. Corrected Post: Whenever I see the word "regret" where "sorry" or "apologize" should be, I smell parsing. It does not depend on what the meaning of is is... Nine (not eight) magic words for all occasions requiring an apology. Politicians and the rest of us, please take note. "I was wrong. I'm sorry. It won't happen again." How hard can this be...uncomfortable, yes, but not impossible

  94. Let's focus on 2020 instead of 1991.

  95. @esfield We have a candidate running for president in 2020 who has a troubled record that he won't apologize for but wants everyone to move past.

  96. Joe, along with every Democrat voted no on Thomas's confirmation. Anita, put the blame where it lies.

  97. Sexual predators can’t stop themselves. And yet we’ve heard nothing about Thomas in his decades on the Court to suggest that kind of behavior. He’s a terrible Justice because of his radical jurisprudence, but doesn’t seem to have problems with his personal comportment. Is it possible that Hill was wrong? And in any case, is it time to let this go, now that we have a decent man vying for the nomination and a genuine sexual predator in the White House?

  98. Biden should have owned it and said he was sorry for the way he conducted the hearing with Anita Hill. Women won't forget.

  99. It is amazing that two standards for behavior seem to co-exist here. El Trumpo's philandering, groping misogyny is accepted while the slightest failure of sensitivity on the part of Joe Biden, a genuinely honest and considerate human being leads to hounding and a public hanging out to dry. Joe is a good guy. Trump is evil personified, and a lawless threat to our democracy.. We need to keep that in mind. I like Elizabeth Warren, Then Bernie Sanders, Then Joe Biden. I obviously loathe the abomination called Donald Trump.

  100. Seriously Anita...he was just doing his job.

  101. ...he was just doing his job extremely poorly

  102. Good! He doesn’t need to apologize for anything.

  103. More seeds of strife from the New York Times. Re-litigating the Thomas confirmation does exactly what towards any goals in 2020? Knock the old out of the race? Knock the white males out of the race? When Trump wins because of an overdose of intersectionalism, a press that wants constant race, gender and ethnicity fights instead of substantive debates, and a rebranding of everything as socialism to guarantee that those outside of the big cities vote against the Democrats, what will we have? Fertile ground for blogosphere angst and a lot of newly minted holier-than-thou "progressive" zealots? NYT should back off and allow all 20 candidates to run on their own merits, plans, and policies, and let the party decide on the candidate with caucuses, primaries, and a convention. Stop trying to stick your thumb on the scales for Twittesphere justice. It isn't real, it doesn't reflect the numbers, and it's a very clear and unmistakable agenda divorced from the standards and ethics of news journalism. New York put up the last presidential election winner. How's that working out for even New York, let alone the rest of us?

  104. @ondelette Terrific post!

  105. @ondelette NYT aren't choosing to relitigate this. Biden made the apology in preparation for his run, and Hill did not find it sufficient. Now he's being asked about it on the View. News media are going to report negative news about candidates. Sometimes even positive news, when it suits them. Look to the OpEd pages if you want to get a sense for a slant. If you do so at NYT, you'll notice that it's not Biden they're framing in a bad light. Compared to other candidates, they're practically gushing. This is just a story about his interview on a popular daytime talk show.

  106. Not nearly enough. Let's hope that the Hill issue deflates Biden's bid early, allowing a less flawed candidate to take the lead.

  107. @Paul Smith His fate won’t be much different than Jeb Bush last time. He was the republicans darling until he wasn’t.

  108. The Democratic Establishment (and associated henchmedia) doing what they can help Trump get re-elected. Thanks for that! *sigh*

  109. A Democratic circular firing squad is easier and less risky than actually tackling Trump. I would ask readers (and the Times, e.g. Judith Miller) just who among them has never done something of substance they have regretted? The important thing is whether and what we have learned from our mistakes. Biden erred in the Clarence Thomas hearings. However he has displayed an understanding of and genuine regret for the past. Which other candidate has acknowledged important errors of judgment? Bottom line: unless you pick a winner, someone who can rack up votes in the few states that are in play, you lose. Game over! Aspirational candidates are nice, but all one would accomplish in 2020 is re-elect Trump, the only way he actually can get re-elected. How will that help women? Biden has two very important things going for him. Unlike most of the candidates, he knows how to credibly talk with the Obama/Trump voters in the states that will be electorally relevant in 2020. Also, with the exception of Sanders, he is the only candidate who knows the Washington swamp. To begin to drain it, you need to know it, not merely have a simplistic, bumpersticker version of it. Do you want a President who can make progress while you stay in the fight to move things along, as dirty and long as that fight may be, or would you rather just have a gravestone with an epitaph that says, "But I Was Right!"? The "perfect" (and just who gets to define it?) really can be the biggest enemy of the "good."

  110. @Steve Fankuchen You're so right. Dems and the media have not been criticizing Trump. It must just be too difficult for them. /s

  111. @DataCrusader Thanks for engaging, DataCrusader! In reading comments (and especially Recommends) both in this and other articles, I figure one should always keep in mind the likely possibility that Trump's people are busily trashing the person they actually think is most likely to beat Trump in 2020. That is one of the reasons I pretty much pay no attention to the most recommended comments. I once got 5000+ recommends for an innocuous little comment that must have served somebody's agenda, so they turned the bots loose. Things will get worse, but I am old enough to have seen when things were much worse, so I am optimistic.

  112. If he loses because of this I want everyone on our side to write a letter to future generations about how we, yet again, bungled another winnable election. Measure this against the fight for climate change. Is it worth it? I don't think so and stuff like this is making me really disgusted with both the democrats and the clickbait media (including the NYT) feeding this mass hysteria. Can we please try to see the bigger picture?

  113. @Sasha Stone Thank you. Losing independents and the swing states again will have far-reaching consequences that go beyond four years of another Trump presidential term. Trump will appointment many more federal judges and possibly two more Supreme Court justices. Adverse decisions on basic civil rights, climate change and the rights of the individual vs. the state and corporations will be handed down for the next 20-30 years. I wonder if the democratic and media purists will understand that and remain self-satisfied as we all suffer?

  114. @David K If independents in swing states were so interested in a centrist, they had a chance to vote for her in 2016. I don't understand why so many people need to disbelieve their own lying eyes and insist on adhering to this frantic, baseless narrative of a milquetoast empty suit of a politician with tons of baggage being the only way to beat Trump.

  115. @DataCrusader Well, I have conservative and independent friends throughout the country and talk with them. I supported her, but Hillary was deeply unpopular, mostly for seeming fake, dishonest, elitist and stiff. I hate it, but they were willing to try for something new hoping Trump would not be as bad as he has been. Unfortunately, most of the Democratic candidates seem about the same, pandering to various groups, playing the losing identity politic game. Trump may win with low information voters who think the economy is fine and decide that an out of touch Democrat does not care about them. I will vote for whoever wins the nomination but if the Democrats think they are going to win the general without independents in swing states they are delusional.

  116. The sheer stupidity of the women who state that Biden didn't apologize enough is amazing! He was Chairman and did not control the speech of the Senators who attacked Ms Hill. Where's their demand that Trump apologize for the recording of his unique way of greeting women? Do they want to enable Trump to win another four years?

  117. Sooo, basically Trump is going to be President again with a lot of upset people... here we go again. Why can't they find good candidates... only criminals, liars, and womanizers

  118. @Tim There are about 20 others running. Biden is not our last hope against Trump, by any stretch of the imagination.

  119. His comment that he did not treat Anita Hill badly based on what he did and did not say is really a clanger. Serious error there, Joe. Serious error. And I am your kind of guy.

  120. Good for him . He won't be cowed by a bunch of hysterical , self righteous , man haters.

  121. Dear Joe, Global warming is happening. Trump and his thugs are undoing our democracy. Please go home if you can't get past the politics and do something that will matter once the floods -- of people and water -- begin to rise. We only have 10 years to react. And, oh yeah, APOLOGIZE!

  122. Good for him. Stick to your guns, Joe. You've done enough. It was almost 30 years ago for Pete's sake. If she can't let it go that's her problem. This Democrat white man apology tour needs to stop or we're guaranteed 4 more years of Trump.

  123. @Bob C'mon, he already ran for president twice. Time to give someone else a chance.

  124. This is outrageous. You can't say this was a different time, before the MeToo era. This was at the height of the women's movement. As a man, now 79, I can say I watched these hearings in a rage at the stupidity and blatant sexism of virtually every man on the committee. Biden and Thomas together in mortal sin. I think I just heard that he said it had been unfair. As bland as he is, so no surprise. And he believes he is the most qualified candidate to beat Donald Trump. A PhD in sincere insincerity. Even worse, he has now been crowned as a front runner. By whom? This is almost, but not quite as creepy as what comes out of the mouths of every single Republican.

  125. @Howard Saunders That's still just your opinion and in the end we will get the president we deserve as HL Mencken long ago foresaw.

  126. Stop already. Why do Democrats tear apart their own, giving fuel to Trump. The guy was part of my generation where being a “Cosmo Girl” and inviting attention were not bad things. Okay, times have changed, thankfully, and so have standards. But do you really want to eviserate this guy who served Obama and the country, honorably? Remember the saying “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”. Maybe you prefer someone younger, or a woman or gay. Fine, just don’t shred this man. Remember, if it weren’t for Gilibrand, we might still have Al Franken, in my estimation, an extremely QUALIFIED candidate.

  127. I don’t think anyone is calling for Biden to be eviserated. That’s not the same as questioning the intentions of someone refusing to take ownership of past conduct or hoping he’s not the primary winner.

  128. @ne ne na Why can't he just apologize? Why is that everyone else's fault? Nobody is taking a hatchet to him. They're bringing up his record and asking for some clarification that he refuses to give on this particular point in it.

  129. @ne ne na Please, you cannot even compare Franken and Biden.

  130. The point isn't just how Anita Hill was treated and that he certainly should accept at least shared responsibility for that as chair of the committee. It's that it was HIS decision not to call the other women who were ready to testify against Clarence Thomas regarding his sexual harassment. Had he done that, Thomas most likely would not have been confirmed because Hill's accusations would have been corroborated. And so, it can probably be safely said that it is because of Joe Biden that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court.

  131. @RLH How Anita Hill was treated was inexcusable, but I watched the hearings and I saw enough to know that what she said about Clarence Thomas was true - I didn't need any other witnesses. Let's also blame all of the senators that voted yes for his confirmation...while Joe Biden voted no. BTW...did you catch any of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings?

  132. @Steve And were you part of the committee that voted? No, you weren't. The testimony of the other witnesses might have influenced the votes of others on the committee.

  133. @RLH You believe that had Biden set different rules, Thomas most likely would not have been confirmed. Did you watch the Kavanaugh hearings? The Senators had access to claims against K. by multiple women, and they still voted along party lines to confirm: this in 2019, but you think a Chairman could have gotten a better result in 1991?

  134. If he were a real leader he would realize how divisive his candidacy would be and step down... (actually, he would never have declared his candidacy)

  135. OMG whatever! IF I were going to really burn Biden at the stake it would be for actually allowing Clarence Thomas to get confirmed to the Court. I can't think of many acts that have had a worse effect on our country than having that man on the Supreme Court. As to Anita Hill, it was hardly a high water mark in Congressional history but his apology to her went far enough and now it's time to MOVE ON. We have a president currently defiling the White House that needs to be THROWN OUT. Let's focus on that and how best to do it. Sound like a good idea, ladies and gentlemen?

  136. @ManhattanWilliam I totally agree. I don't understand why my fellow left/liberal/progressives constantly smother each other while the right dismisses everything in their common goal of the pursuit of money. Oh wait. I think I understand it now.

  137. @ManhattanWilliam His actions literally did allow Clarence Thomas to get confirmed to the court. The way that he handled the entire thing, the witnesses that he did not allow to testify, all of these things allowed Clarence Thomas to get confirmed to the court. That is what Anita Hill is saying, that is the entire point. And he will not take responsibility for his direct roll in it so how can we just MOVE ON? He can just MOVE ON to retirement.

  138. @ManhattanWilliam There crime here isn't the confirmation of Thomas based on his politics, even if we (you and I) feel that it's the most destructive result in a national sense. The crime is that he was confirmed by brazenly blowing past evidence that his conduct was such that he was an inappropriate choice for the position. In other words, Hill's treatment is THE only issue here, not the confirmation of a judge whose politics we don't like. Furthermore, I'm glad YOU feel that his apology went far enough. It's good that the healing process was effective. For Ms. Hill, however, it was not sufficient, and most people agree. It's a pretty simple criticism - he is apologizing for the behavior of others and stubbornly refusing to acknowledge his role in it. Since it wouldn't be a very hard thing for him to do at all (issue an actual apology, not for others, but for himself), and so yes, people are critical. We know Trump has to go. That doesn't mean that every democrat is immune from criticism. If you feel it does mean that though, I'll take this to mean that you won't be criticizing other dems during the primary process. Either way, the primary comes first - before we start yelling at everyone to put blinders on in order to beat Trump. Let's take it a step at a time.

  139. 1991 seems like a short time ago but the world has changed dramatically since then. One thing that hasn't changed though is that the media's circling firing squad remains unbroken. The Republicans have proven, through the Kavanaugh hearings, they have not moved in an inch since 1991 but Biden must continually apologize for not being able to predict the future. He didn't want to see Clarence Thomas elevated to the Supreme Court but, as the head of the committee he had to appear as unbiased as possible. As with Clinton, the media's maudlin mania for mea culpa's diminishes both the apology and the interviewer's questioning skills.

  140. @Rick Gage Why is it so hard to issue a plain apology? To say 'I should have done better"? Does you, and he, really think he couldn't have done any better? He was already being criticized for his handling of the hearings back in 1991!

  141. @Steven Sullivan, And he has been apologizing since 1991. Your question should be, How hard is it to accept an apology and move on? We can all do better and don't need to be reminded of it for almost 40 years.

  142. why can't he own it? what is so difficult about that? he is part of the problem he is choosing against being part of the solution

  143. @true patriot part of what solution? I just reread the story and found no reference to a solution.

  144. Joe, apologize for not calling corroborating witnesses for Hill to the stand. Apologize for letting the GOP interrogators bully her. Apologize for not doing due diligence, as evidence from Wasbhington post reporters later affirmed that Thomas was an enthusiastic porn consumer. You yourself even said this week, "And to this day I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved given the courage she showed by reaching out to us.” Apologize to her for the way *you* failed her. Not the 'process'.

  145. @Steven Sullivan This is really annoying me that the Times isn't reporting this, but Biden said during the interview that the committee sent a document asking a key witness to testify, and that the response, apparently, was that the witness did not want to testify. He says he didn't want to someone up on the stand who wouldn't answer questions because that would have further discredited Hill, whom he believed. The Times should easily enough be able to fact-check this document. If what Biden says is true, there's a lot of misinformation being repeated in these comments that could easily be corrected.

  146. watch a replay of that little snippet of history and see how you feel about him... regardless of whether a corroborating witness was willing to testify or not.

  147. It's now obvious that Joe doesn't 'get' modern feminism - I'm within 10 years of his age but my wife has awakened me to the damage male ignorance/arrogance, regardless of intentions, can do. One regret is that those who felt harmed came out in public without talking to him privately first (I assume) - it makes one wonder about the intentions of certain accusers. Candidates with the ego to run for President are rarely flawless so you have to decide what is most important - elections are about compromises.

  148. @Chris W. --- Biden is far from "flawless." He has been carrying water for the banking and credit card industry for decades, the same as Hillary Clinton. He's the absolute last candidate, who would do anything to push back the tide of income inequality. Currently, the four wealthiest people in the USA have wealth greater than the entire bottom 50% due to the trickle-down Reagan economic policies and tax cuts that were not challenged or pushed back in the 1980's forward by the Democratic Party that had shifted towards representing the 1% global CEO investments crowd instead of workers. The Democrats have allowed the GOP to freeze the cap on Social Security and then complain that it's not going to have enough money in the future (instead of doing what had been done in the past: adjust the SS formula periodically to keep it solid.) It's why families are now faced with health care premiums of $1,600 a month and $5,000 annual deductions because the Democratic majority didn't support a "public option" that was wanted by the people. That's why we have 600,000 families a year to going bankrupt due to medical expenses, who had "insurance" at the time of their illness or injury. People are working two and three jobs to pay for medicine and other expenses. Half of the Democrats called Senator Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All "too expensive" but continue to authorize $715 billion a year for "defense" that is more than all other nations spend in total.

  149. @Chris W. As a woman in her mid-50s who has long worked on Wall Street, I can honestly say that I’m not certain I understand modern feminism. It strikes me that there are many differing viewpoints surrounding modern feminism...let’s hope the lack of consensus doesn’t divide us.

  150. @mjpezzi Almost anyone would be an improvement over Trump!

  151. He doesn't get it; he never will. You either have to accept him as he is, or not. I can't.

  152. It's very hard to account for the ethical and political tone-deafness of Biden's performance on "The View," particularly when he and everyone involved in his nascent campaign already knows how big an issue this will be for him. Instead of just apologizing forthrightly and moving on, he's now virtually guaranteed that this will continue to be an issue that dogs his campaign.

  153. I’m with Anita Hill on this. She’s very bright and sincere, and no one’s fool. As regards Biden: He seems affable; but politician that he is, he acts in order to have both ways. An “apology” to Ms. Hill with deflection on to others. And this is the moral alternative to Trump?

  154. Joe has had almost 30 years of criticism over this event to reflect on what he could have done better and how to make amends with Hill and the public on this, and "I'm sorry for the way she got treated," is the best he can come up with? Golly I'm glad I'm not Jill. Is this disqualifying? I'm not 100% decided, but I think it is. It's such a shame, because Biden has many great qualities and would stand in sharp contrast to Trump in some ways. But this certainly isn't one of them.

  155. @Nate "Golly I'm glad I'm not Jill." So is he.

  156. If Mr. Biden continues to beg for forgiveness and throws himself on his sword to make a few in the Democratic base happy, he will look very weak in comparison to Trump who never apologizes and then wins. There were plenty of independent voters in swing states who didn't like Hilary Clinton and voted for Trump hoping he would not be as bad as he has turned out. They are not part of the 35-40% in Trump's base. They could support Biden but are less likely to support candidates who call them self socialist or who appear to check all the Democratic activist boxes and appear to be California or East coast elites kowtowing to all the perceived progressive groups of the democratic base.

  157. D's eat their own. R's savage basic human dignity. Perhaps I'll vote for my cat.

  158. Biden's performance during the Anita Hill hearing was a disgrace -- he threw her under the bus. The fact that he waited nearly 30 years to speak to her -- and on the eve of a campaign launch -- is deeply cynical. And then he doesn't even apologize! (Anyone who wants to relive that drama should watch the great HBO movie about it, Confirmation). The day after his announcement he spends the evening at a corporate fundraiser run by a Comcast lobbyist. There are 20 other Democratic Party candidates -- almost any one of them would be a better choice than this guy.

  159. Oh jeez, Joe, I have thought more highly of you than not over the years, accepting your foibles as part of your flawed humanity, in common with, well, everyone... But this really is too much now, and you just lost any possibility of my voting for you throughout the primaries. Just man up and apologize already, would you? It's really not all that complicated or difficult!

  160. His failure to permit witnesses who could corroborate her testimony was a terrible error. He allowed men who barely knew her to attack her credibility while barring witnesses who supported it. He willfully refused to investigate her allegations, which were almost entirely substantiated in Strange Justice. This didn’t just hurt Anita Hill: it hurt all the women watching who learned again to our horror that if we dared to make accusations against powerful men we would be brutally attacked. Where was Joe’s outrage during the “slutty,nutty” comment? And when has he acknowledged that Clarence Thomas committed perjury during his testimony? No, Joe. Not enough.

  161. @BuffCrone What he said today on the View was that the person who could corroborate her testimony did not want to testify. That is not Biden's fault. Has she gone to that person and publicly called her out for not corroborating her!?

  162. You know you are old when you do not understand why your actions are viewed as intolerable by those who should be your natural allies. You know you are too old when you can't tell the difference between wanted and tolerated contact, and do not understand why "tolerated contact" should be avoided. You know you are too old when your war stories are far more interesting to yourself than to those around you. Think hard Joe.

  163. @Mark Johnson Why is it so important to you that he recognize that he is older now? Aren't we all?

  164. Correction, In my previous post, I said Biden, then chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voted to confirm Clarence Thomas. Was wrong. The Committee sent Thomas's nomination to the full Senate without a a recommendation pro or con. In the final 52 to 48 vote to confirm, Biden voted No.

  165. American women need to put any Biden nomination to rest, where it belongs. What he said about Anita Hill during the nomination process for Thomas shows deep misogyny. He should at least admit that Thomas critics were right! Two Wall St. Journal reporters wrote the book Strange Justice, which went into verifiable detail about his perversions and sexual harassment of employees. On the Court, Mr. Thomas has barely said a word during arguments, and simply does not add much of anything. Speculation is that he has perfected the art of sleeping behind thick glasses during any proceedings.

  166. @KittyKitty7555 Biden says he didn't vote for Thomas and that he believed Hill from the beginning, and said so.

  167. @Chris Biden is the reason that Thomas has sat on the US Supreme Court like a perverted bump on a log for nearly 30 years. Biden’s comments about Anita Hill were nauseating - he agreed that she developed feelings for Thomas and reacted because she was jilted. And if he is now spinning it that he “believed her” he is as much a liar as our current liar in chief.

  168. leave Anita Hill story alone..we have the worst President imaginable to remove from office..the health of our country and the planet at large is on the line, no time for petty stories..IT IS POLITICS FOLKS! This is where certain aspects of doing what is right sometimes get buried for political reasons! Look, Hillary, is not a trustworthy person, but she would push an agenda that would align with decent minded and intelligent people! And there are many other examples...think of what is at stake and back the horse that will rid the rats from office, the whole lot needs to leave now!

  169. @james jones At least there would no Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, no small thing.

  170. @james jones I've backed many presidential candidates over the years. But I've never had any illusions that any of them was the poster child for total integrity.

  171. Good Grief! With the laundry list of very real problems we have to face, why are we spending yet more time badgering politicians into validating this absurd new culture of victimhood? Forcing Biden to grovel solves nothing. Let's get over our privileged and coddled selves and take on some actual issues.

  172. @Nadia Isn't this an indication of character, the very thing lacking in Trump, the great Denier-in Chief?

  173. @Nadia: some of the very real problems we now face have accrued because of actions like what occurred at the hearings for clarence thomas, [who never should have been confirmed]. it isn't JUST that anita hill was horribly is the result of continued male discounting of women. misogyny won the last election...apparently biden doesn't get what was so wrong about that hearing, or he would be apologizing over and over to professor hill.

  174. @cl It's a matter of degree. trump actually sexually assaulted women and he constantly denies it. That's his MO: say it never happened until it goes away. That is absolutely not what is going on with Biden. Even the women who were uncomfortable with Biden's touch have stated that they knew his intentions were benign. And, though it may not meet the lofty standards of the social justice police, Biden has apologized. He isn't my choice for office right now, but comparing his character to trump's is a serious stretch.

  175. While I have always believed Anita Hill, and did not support Clarence Thomas's nomination to the Supreme Court for a number of reasons, it's important to recall the political sentiments of the time, and the fact that Joe Biden was being forced to walk a tightrope. The fact is that Clarence Thomas's nomination was supported by a significant majority of African Americans at the time (see the below referenced scholarly analysis). Any attempt to go after him - as he deserved to be gone after IMHO - might have easily been interpreted as an attempt to destroy a powerful African American man (as a potential high tech lynching, in Thomas's own words), something that Senate Democrats in general, and Joe Biden in particular, were loathe to be seen doing. Hindsight is always 20/20 - but at the time, if Biden did not go hard enough after Thomas, IMHO, he did it out of deference to the current sentiments of an extraordinarily important constituent of the Democratic coalition.

  176. @Matthew Carnicelli Exactly. I wonder how many people commenting here actually watched the hearings. And Biden is not the one who asked Anita Hill if she was a "scorned woman". I will never forget that. Most people have some regrets about how they have handled challenges and problems in the past. I still think Biden's sins are venial in nature, and that we democrats continually make the perfect the enemy of the good.

  177. @Matthew Carnicelli If he was a skilled politician, he would have been able to explain how believing Anita Hill and giving all the witnesses a chance to speak was in support of the African-American community, particularly Black women who were and are an important part of the Democratic coalition. What he did was disrespectful to all women, who were and are an important part of the Democratic coalition. He was a coward. If he cared enough about the Black community, he would have spoken about Thurgood Marshall's contributions to the Court and how important it was to make sure his replacement had the highest ethics. No, instead it was a disgusting circus where Biden got pulled around by his nose...

  178. Uncle Joe can’t bring himself to fully apologize to Anita Hill which is a mistake and offends many women. His run for the presidency already feels like another version of Hillary Clinton with a large portion of the voting public not enthusiastic about his candidacy. He has been in the public eye too long and now it is time to retire.

  179. @Mike Do you have any idea how many voters do not remember (or never knew) who Anita Hill was ?

  180. @kenneth And do you have any idea how many young people who may not be familiar with Anita Hill are learning about her now ?

  181. Joe Biden is now the latest unrepentant old white male. We all (except for the current occupant of the White House) make mistakes. Can't we admit them; say "I'm sorry and will strive to do better." A little humility, a little maturity, and a little wisdom seems to be lacking in my generation of aging white males [Disclosure: I'm a 78-year old progressive, white male Democrat]; maybe that's why they like Trump so much. But, I really expected more from Biden. His treatment of Anita Hill was horrid and he certainly knows it. And, not only did he seriously wound her and her career, he put the absolute worst man ever on the Supreme Court. We've already had a repeat of this with the Brett Kavanaugh circus and the tear-down of Christine Blasey Ford. American has to be better than that, and if Biden doesn't get it or won't admit it, then he's not the man I'd hoped he would be.

  182. @Paul Wortman He did not vote for Thomas.

  183. @Paul Wortman "I'm a 78-year old progressive, white male Democrat]; maybe that's why they like Trump so much. " Why would they like Trump because you're a progressive, white male Democrat?

  184. @Paul Wortman Good for you! Brett Kavanaugh is just another privileged white male ( as opposed to a regular guy) who will not own up to his past. All either he and Biden had to do was admit past wrongdoing, It is the first and most important step to moving forward. Neither of them did.

  185. Biden is Hillary 2.0. He is the face of the corporate DNC, who seem just as fearful of progressives getting into office as they do of republicans.

  186. @Diana Which has something to do with her demand for an apology? Or are you just trying to change the subject ?

  187. @kenneth Not at all. Biden is the subject. And I'm sorry to say that he seems more of a manufactured candidate than anything else. It's important to voice any objections we have to any candidate right now. Rest assured, if Biden becomes the nominee, I would work tirelessly to ensure he's elected.

  188. We need people to be taking responsibility for their actions. We need to take responsibility for who we elect and the processes we allow for our elections. What we don't need is another president who refuses to accept responsibility for what they have done or participated in, especially as a leader or chairman.

  189. @Barry McKenna You wrote, "What we don't need is another president who refuses to accept responsibility for what they have done or participated in, especially as a leader or chairman." For the most part, I agree with this. But the reality is, if Joe Biden gets the nomination, I will be 100% behind the idea of a DIFFERENT president who refuses to accept responsibility.

  190. Please, please, please folks, let's not let Biden's imperfections divide us. If he should get the nomination, he may be the lesser of two evils, but he's WAY lesser than the current president, and that goes for all the other Democratic candidates as well. We Democrats are GREAT at getting Republicans elected by turning against our own, and in this case, by not supporting whomever wins the nomination, we may be putting nails in our Democracy's coffin. Sad.

  191. @glow worm The issue of why and when to accept the lesser of two evils in a presidential election is entirely different from that of whether it's okay to discuss the faults of leading primary candidates. Of course voters should vote for any candidate in the main election to replace Trump. But that does not mean we should all be promoting Biden or that criticism of him is off-limits. It's April 2018, not November 2019.

  192. @glow worm That is the same philosophy espoused by Leninists- Democratic Centralism, as it's referred to. Whether better or not, something to consider.

  193. @glow worm If he wins the primary? Has he ever come close to winning anything statewide outside of Delaware? Has he ever come remotely close to winning anything nationwide? Remember, he has tried this twice already, and failed quite badly both times. He is not the inevitable establishment nominee. He has no base of support, no war chest of cash, no policy platform, no draw other than the fact hat he's white, male, tall, and used to be VP. He didn't even have a signature proposal or issue when he was VP! He just sat there, making gaffes and creating meme content for after the administration ended. "If he should get the nomination" Who are you to make it sound like it's even remotely viable that this will happen?

  194. The Democrats need to stop caving to the Republican double standard. Trump never apologized for bragging on the Access Hollywood tape about sexually abusing women and getting away with it. But Biden is expected to prostrate himself and beg forgiveness for what he "did to" Anita Hill when he took no direct offensive action against her. It's no wonder that one definition of a liberal is "someone who won't take his own side in an argument." Wise up, for God's sake. This is political life and death we're talking about. Do you really want another four years of Trump? Wasn't Al Franken sacrifice enough?

  195. Get off his back, it was thirty years ago and he did call her to apologize. What do you want, blood?

  196. @Alan Snipes It would be a good start...did YOU watch the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings? A travesty

  197. @Alan Snipes No blood, but a different candidate for sure.

  198. Joe, the reason I will not even consider your platform is that I will NOT vote for you; I remember vividly the Clarence Thomas hearings and your attitude was despicable. You helped put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court.

  199. Did everyone forget what is at stake here? We have the worst excuse for a president in the history of our country and we want to lynch a guy for something that happened 30 years ago? Time to get real, folks! Our future is on the line.

  200. Biden is making a mistake. He should apologize to Hill for his performance in the Clarence Thomas hearing. He now comes across as tone-deaf, stubborn, even Trump-like. Gross. Shaking my head. Not wanting Biden. What a terrible way to start a campaign.

  201. Who cares what this guy says at this point? I don't. Let's focus on people who stand a chance at winning the election. Biden has no chance. At this point he is an outlier and is ego driven. He offers nothing. He brings nothing. No way is anyone going to vote for this guy. Let's move on.

  202. He was chairman of the committee. He could have called the additional witnesses that would have testified to Thomas' misbehavior. Sorry, Joe. This one's on you.

  203. No Biden please. It’s kind of obvious who will truly fight for the middle class, and who are too beholden to Big Politics and Big Business. The DNC would be so relieved if Biden is their nominee.

  204. It’s bad enough that we have a president who never apologizes for anything. And now we have a major Democratic candidate who offers non-apology apologizes to women. Joe, this won’t be enough for women voters like myself. You must do better to get our votes.

  205. "Mistakes were made"-type buck-passing isn't the language a good leader, let alone a president.

  206. Thomas should not be on the Supreme Court. Biden and Clinton both voted to authorize the manifestly fraudulent Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq and destruction of the Middle East. That world-historical blunder disqualified both of them from the presidency.

  207. Leave it to the "liberal" media to eat their own. The media has commenced raking Biden over the coals regarding something that transpired 28 years ago. Like Mr. Biden I am a Catholic and when I go to confession God forgives and forgets. Apparently the media is more powerful than God because they never forget anything---unless they want to. How long did they press on Trump on molesting women or declining to give up his taxes before they fell silent. Why even bother if the media isn't going to pursue the greater evils of Trump.

  208. @Don Alberstadt Joe Biden is not a Liberal and certainly not "our own" unless you represent Credit Card Companies or the Private Prison Industry.

  209. WHo cares what happened 30 years ago. He's run for office - including the presidency - about 15 times since then. Its been brought up, talked about, dealt with. Lets leave the horse alone, it was dead a long time ago. I'm interested in tomorrow, not yesterday.

  210. In reading comments both in this and other articles, one should always keep in mind the likely possibility that Trump's people are busily trashing the person they actually think is most likely to beat Trump in 2020.

  211. @Steve Fankuchen good point, briefly made. and something to consider.

  212. This is so simple. If you don't think you have done anything wrong don't apologize. If you do feel the need to apologize then simply say this. I am sorry for what I did. I was wrong. Apologizing for the results or the suffering of the person or group you are addressing is an artful way of saying Gee I don't like what happened to you but really, I wasn't involved. People understand I was wrong, people don't like weasle words.

  213. @KJ Peters: Thank you KJ Peters! It's really that simple.

  214. It would seem that many of the people commenting did not actually follow the hearings and are unfamiliar with details. As was the case with Kavanaugh, Professor Hill made her complaint publicly known near the end of the Thomas confirmation hearings. Unlike the case with Kavanaugh the accusation was not about sexual assault, but rather about a toxic environment. After leaving direct association, Professor Hill continued her contact with Thomas, even hosting him as a guest lecturer, as it was useful to advance her career. Further, Biden was not the accused here, but rather presided over the hearings. That Biden called Professor Hill to express his regrets and try to reset a situation which he may not have handled adroitly, was appropriate. Professor Hill's response was less than magnanimous and frankly I think a bit over the top.

  215. @W.A. Spitzer // Here's a detail that I'm familiar with: Thomas led the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission while he violated employment laws by creating a hostile work environment. Hill endured Thomas's constant sex talk, then later stayed in contact with her powerful boss to, as you say, "advance her career." The horror. Have you never tried to stay on good terms with an awful boss?

  216. @W.A. Spitzer I followed the hearings and there is one thing about Ms. Hill's testimony that I never understood; if Mr. Thomas created the hostile environment she desribed, why did she follow him when he moved from the Department of Education to the E.E.O.C.?

  217. A Democratic circular firing squad is clearly much easier and less risky than actually tackling Trump. The "perfect" (and just who gets to define it?) really can be the biggest enemy of the "good." I would ask readers (and the Times, e.g. Judith Miller) just who among them has never done something of substance they have regretted? The important thing is whether and what we have learned from our mistakes. Biden, like all of us, erred in the past. However he has displayed an understanding of and genuine regret for that history. Which other candidate has acknowledged important errors of judgment? Biden has two very important things going for him. Unlike most other candidates, he knows how to credibly talk with the Obama/Trump voters in the states that will be electorally relevant in 2020. And, with the exception of Sanders, he is the only candidate who knows the Washington swamp. To begin to drain it, you need to know it, not merely have a simplistic, bumpersticker version. Bottom line: unless you pick a winner, someone who can rack up votes in the few states that are in play, you lose. Game over! Aspirational candidates are nice, but all one would accomplish in 2020 is re-elect Trump, the only way he actually can get re-elected. How will that help women? Do you want a President who can help while you yourself stay in the fight for progress, as dirty and long as that fight will be, or would you rather just have a gravestone with an epitaph that says, "But I Was Right!"?

  218. @Steve Fankuchen Are you saying that after 4 or 5 decades in the swamp Biden will drain it? It seems more likely that he considers those wetlands to be the natural habitat and source of sustenance that he must preserve.

  219. @Steve Fankuchen. I agree with the gist of your statement. The top priority is to defeat Mr. Trump. A nominee who cannot do that (also known as the loser of the election) will fade from memory no matter how aspirational his or her ideas were. I am a feminist, and there could be no one worse than the current occupant of the WH. Tough times call for tough measures. I support whoever can win. Please stay focused on the bottom line or prepare for four more years of this insanity.

  220. @Steve Fankuchen Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and their ilk will not fight for progress and do not represent me; as a result they will not get my vote. If that means more Trump then so be it. I will not unify behind a neoliberal (other evil candidate) to spare you from Trump since you refuse to spare me from Clintonites.

  221. In his defense, he didn't have control over the Republican Senators. He can't deny them the opportunity to cross examine Dr. Hill. He certainly could have been a more forceful advocate on her behalf, but the idea he could have prevented the harsh questions and innuendo is silly. He was the Chairman of the committee, not the dictator of it.

  222. So interesting. Comments here reflect the complete absence of voter compromise needed to put forth a competitive democratic candidate. Think about it, those running are either too naive, sexist, male, female, old, young, idealistic, etc... etc....etc... No one will be perfect, but they do need to be able to win.

  223. @Independent Voter - precisely... and I am as liberal as you can get on most issues.

  224. @Independent Voter unfortunately you are right BUT I am afraid that 2020 will go like 2016 where 47% of the voters did not vote. Many were really divided about voting for Clinton and stayed home, afraid same thing will happen here...each person drawing personal lines in the sand and then not getting out to vote. Biden is a lot like HRC .

  225. @Independent Voter.. I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Biden is everything that is wrong with the Old Guard of the Democratic Party. His responsibility lies with him and him alone. The Democratic Party keeps trying to force these people (Hilary) down our throats. Biden knew this question was coming and still doesn't have an answer. Shame on him and the DNC. This is a Shame.

  226. We need to get out of the politically correct weeds regarding Joe Biden's treatment of Anita Hill, and let the candidates campaign in a healthy environment. Let's try not to re-elect Trump. His base will turn out; he doesn't need help from liberals who are stuck in some kind of fake emotional limbo waiting for what they consider an appropriate level of contrition from Joe Biden.

  227. @RE Yeh, people only trot out that that whole "forgive 'n' forget" thing when it involves harm done to females by males. There are better candidates than Joe Biden, many better candidates.

  228. Many people evolve over thier lifetime and admit to changing, growing. The fact that he is not willing to say that he regrets the things he said to Anita Hill and after the recent touching incident says something about who he is. I admire people who admit they regret something in their past. I do not admire someone who cannot say I'm sorry. We have had enough of that kind of arrogance.

  229. Making unwanted touching the victims fault is inexcusable. Goodbye Joe.

  230. I've lost all respect for him in 48 hours. He keeps presenting himself as powerless and ultimately not responsible during those hearings, which he led. I hope he drops out of the race before he even gets started.

  231. I watched the Clarence Thomas hearings, and the way Anita Hill was questioned was inexcusable. But if Joe Biden should apologize then everyone else on the committee should as well, and the senators that voted to confirm Thomas. If I remember, Biden voted no...

  232. Anita Hill was sitting at another table. I could not get behind her to put my hands on her and smell her hair. I could not comfort Anita in my own way.

  233. All this helps Joe with his base of male voters who went for Trump but will vote for Joe. Those who want to bring a good man down look ridiculous in context of foreign policy, allies, separation of powers, it's not all about one woman who can't get over a thing 27 years ago. Joe looks like who he is, an ender statesman with eyes on the big issues, a gentleman being bullied by women who are on a high horse. This is part of why I no longer am a Democrat but an Independent. I don't want a talk show to choose my president.

  234. The Dems will lose again if they nominate Biden. They need to brake away from the by-gone politicians like him to have any chance of beating Trump.

  235. In listening to the clip of that portion of the interview, two things stand out. As a followup to an earlier question that Biden answered in the passive voice, Ms. Behar asks why he doesn't say "I'm sorry about the way that *I* treated you." Biden gives a rambling answer, but toward the end says that he doesn't know how anyone can prevent someone on a panel from making inflammatory or character assassinations of the witness. Unbelievably clueless, if not dissembling. The way the chair of a meeting handles that is, at the very outset of an inflammatory character assassination, you take the microphone and say, "I will not allow that kind of treatment of the witness to occur." I've chaired meetings like that, especially in job interviews -- Biden acknowledged that SC hearings were interviews, not trials -- and EEO guidelines compel hiring agencies to adopt certain standards of conduct. Biden may choose not to address that now, but this is the crux of the problem. He did not do his job. Second, I was struck by the deference the women observed toward Joe Biden. Perhaps they should have been better prepared with followup questions. His contention was that the transcripts show that he did not engage in the same kind of character assassination that others did. I wish that one of the interviewers had asked about why he did not call the three other women who were prepared to corroborate Anita Hill's testimony. Again, he didn't do his job.

  236. Biden could have gone down in history as an effective Vice President and warm counterpart to President Obama. Now he's going to be remembered as a failed presidential candidate who never "got" women's issues. Time to step aside, Mr. Biden, learn from your mistakes, and make room for people who truly understand and are committed to gender equality. Brava Anita Hill! While Biden may not have been the worst offender at the hearings, he failed to stop the cruel and misogynist onslaught. And--so far at least--he has failed to apologize to the nation for not stopping Clarence Thomas.

  237. @Lisa -- oh stop it, Joe Biden is a fine candidate. Much better suited than the rest of them.

  238. @Lisa. Here is the central question. Was he wrong? No. She testified and her account of thing did not line up with other account. She was not believed for a reason.

  239. @Lisa In real life, ALL women's rights organizations have called him one of their strongest heroes, based on his legislative record and record as VP, when it's comes to women's rights. And already before he started running, he was the front-runner. If you ask formidable candidates like that to "step aside" and "learn from your mistakes", then obviously imho - and with all respect - you're part of the problem here, rather than the solution. As to Thomas: at the time, he was considered to be a moderate, remember? In a democracy, we only get the government we deserve. If we can't do some basic fact-checking and give in to easy cynicism, all progress will always be extremely slowly, and threatened by corrupt politicians such as the current GOP. Do you know that this week, the GOP block a UN resolution that would have declared rape illegal as war weapon? THAT is what happens when "we the people" don't inform ourselves and can't focus on our goals or fail to get clear ideas about moral values.

  240. Obama picked Biden as his running mate and didn't think that the Hill hearings would be a disqualification - why didn't the media criticize Obama then? Why didn't the media challenge Biden for 8 years when he was in office as VP? So, Biden never thought of calling Prof. Hill for 30 years because no one - the media, especially - never asked him to. The media is acting as through Biden was the perpetrator of the harassment. Prof. Hill voluntarily came forward to testify, and Biden was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The topic was brand new and explosive, so we've to cut Biden some slack in how he handled the public scrutiny of coke cans and pubic hairs. You can't blame Biden for not having women questioners because there were fewer women senators then and none were on the committee. Biden voted against Thomas's confirmation. We're talking about a hearing in 1991 about inappropriate events that supposedly happened in 1981 between two adults. If this is what purity is for the Dems, God help them!

  241. @Rajkamal Rao All true. Still, a direct apology for the circus he contributed to should be a breeze.

  242. @Rajkamal Rao -- It was Joe Biden, not someone else, who refused to call women as witnesses who were willing to provide possibly corroborating testimony in support of Anita Hill. And it was Joe Biden, not someone else, who arranged the schedule of testimony so that Clarence Thomas got to give his self-pitying "high tech lynching" speech to a prime-time television audience, while Hill was relegated to early afternoon when relatively few people were watching the hearings. This was no level playing field; Biden's thumb was on the scales and the nation has suffered the consequences ever since.

  243. @Rajkamal Rao Sexism in all its forms has been around since the Garden of Eden. Nothing new, no excuses. If Biden could not control Hatch and Simpson et al. in a hearing, what is he going to do at summit with Putin? Flash that smile and say "Aw shucks, we just have to do this sanctions thing, you know. Sorry, I know it's inconvenient for you -- I apologize".