Joe Biden knows how to pick ‘em.
The former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has yet to personally respond to an accusation that he sexually assaulted a former aide during his years in the United States Senate, but one of his selections for his own vice presidential search team has had to face down his own high-profile “sexual assault” claim in the past.
That would be former Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, allegedly part of the infamous “waitress sandwich” involving the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and a woman unfortunate enough to come into contact with the two of them.
Dodd was among four men and women named co-chairs of the Biden Vice Presidential Selection Committee, along with U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Delaware Democrat, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Cynthia C. Hogan, a vice president for public policy at Apple who served as chief counsel to Biden during his White House and Senate days.
WH Counsel Bob Bauer, campaign GC Dana Remus & fmr Nat’l Sec Advisor Lisa Monaco will help vet. pic.twitter.com/FyPUJIZWqa
— Molly Nagle (@MollyNagle3) April 30, 2020
Whatever the merits of the other three co-chairs might be, it’s safe to say none of them have Dodd’s notoriety when it comes to matters of sexual impropriety.
Back in 1985, Dodd was part of what became crudely known as the “waitress sandwich,” a notorious incident of alleged sexual harassment that took place involving the liberal womanizer Ted Kennedy, when the two senators were eating in a private room with their dates, according to a a GQ magazine article by the late Michael Kelly, originally published in 1990.
The article noted that both Dodd and Kennedy were known to drink heavily at the tony restaurant, then described the crucial scene, which allegedly involved Dodd, Kennedy and a waitress named Carla Gaviglio:
“As Gaviglio enters the room, the six-foot-two, 225-plus-pound Kennedy grabs the five-foot-three, 103-pound waitress and throws her on the table. She lands on her back, scattering crystal, plates and cutlery and the lit candles. Several glasses and a crystal candlestick are broken. Kennedy then picks her up from the table and throws her on Dodd, who is sprawled in a chair. With Gaviglio on Dodd’s lap, Kennedy jumps on top and begins rubbing his genital area against hers, supporting his weight on the arms of the chair. As he is doing this, [another waitress] enters the room. She and Gaviglio both scream, drawing one or two dishwashers. Startled, Kennedy leaps up. He laughs. Bruised, shaken and angry over what she considered a sexual assault, Gaviglio runs from the room. Kennedy, Dodd and their dates leave shortly thereafter, following a friendly argument between the senators over the check.”
To be fair, a waitress who witnessed the incident told Kelly that Dodd said, “It’s not my fault,” and from the description, it appears Kennedy was the aggressor in the case. But it’s equally clear from the article that the two men were drinking companions of long-standing.
If nothing else, it’s pretty clear Dodd wasn’t exactly Sir Galahad in the case. And the terminology is telling: Gaviglio considered the incident a “sexual assault,” according to Kelly.
Regardless, imagine the name of any Republican of national stature in Dodd’s place in that quoted paragraph.
And imagine the mainstream media’s reaction if that Republican were chosen to pick the next candidate for vice president — a candidate who will be a woman.
The 1985 incident never resulted in a criminal case — if you’re going to get into trouble with women, Ted Kennedy was apparently a good partner to do it with. (A guy like him could get away with murder.)
But it became part of Washington lore — and considering Joe Biden was well-ensconced in the Senate by that time, he had to be well aware of it.
He also had to know — assuming his memory is functioning — that this incident from Dodd’s past was going to be a top topic of conversation when announcing his VP selection team.
And it turns out, it was:
Chris Dodd, known as one half of the infamous Teddy Kennedy ‘waitress sandwich,’ named to Joe Biden’s VP vetting committee https://t.co/MYZZEeuYVK
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) April 30, 2020
So “Waitress Sandwich” Senator Chris Dodd is on Biden’s VP search committee in case you wondered how seriously the campaign is taking these allegations. https://t.co/e9mgNx8LZ8
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) April 30, 2020
— commonsense (@commonsense258) April 30, 2020
But this one puts it perfectly:
Biden bringing Chris Dodd in middle of this is campaign saying they know they have cover.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 30, 2020
“Biden bringing Chris Dodd in middle of this is campaign saying they know they have cover,” conservative commentator Stephen L. Miller wrote.
Neither Biden nor his campaign have given the accusation of sexual assault being made by Tara Reade, a former aide in Biden’s Senate office, anything resembling serious attention.
The Biden campaign has issued a denial that it took place, but nothing more.
The candidate himself hasn’t addressed the issue at all.
The idea that a man on the cusp of winning the presidential nomination of a major American political party wouldn’t even be asked about an accusation so serious is as damning indictment of the openly partisan mainstream media that dominates the country’s political coverage.
The idea that that candidate is so confident that the media will cover for him that he picks a former senator with an infamous allegation on his record — one allegedly involving sexually suggestive abuse of a woman in a subservient position — speaks volumes about how confident the Biden campaign actually is.
This isn’t about having only a small number of people to choose from to do a job based on the level of expertise required.
Joe Biden could have selected any one of literally hundreds, if not thousands, of Democratic political minds to be on a committee to vet his vice presidential selection.
But he chose one former senator whose name was guaranteed to shine a light on Biden’s own sexual assault accusation — and Biden apparently cared about it as little as Ted Kennedy allegedly cared about the dignity of that waitress in 1985.
If this is how his vice presidential search team starts, the country can only shudder at where it’s going to end.
Because if it proves nothing else, it shows Joe Biden can really pick ‘em.
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