Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be the special guest of the current Democrat contender Joe Biden at the online women’s town hall, raising the spectre of a VP nomination and a 2016 rematch.
After Biden’s campaign announced a women’s town hall event on Tuesday afternoon, with a “special guest,” Clinton tweeted a picture from the Oval Office of herself in the company of Biden and then-President Barack Obama, calling it a “little hint” as who the guest might be and that “she’s excited.”
Biden, 77, has emerged as the presumptive nominee after his only remaining rival Bernie Sanders gave him a full-throated endorsement earlier this month. The obvious explanation for Clinton’s tweets is that she intended to endorse Biden as well – which is exactly what happened once the event started.
However, given his age and widespread concerns about his declining cognitive faculties, everyone has been on the lookout for hints of his pick for running mate, which Biden pledged would be a woman. Could it be Clinton herself?
Biden fueled that speculation by responding “I’m with her,” one of Clinton’s campaign slogans from 2016. Some outspoken Democrat activists seem energized by the idea.
Others, however, have been… less so.
The notion has generated a lot of enthusiasm among Republicans relishing a rematch of 2016, when Clinton was given 90-plus-percent chances of winning only to get wiped out by Donald Trump.
Responding to Clinton’s quip about being excited, the Trump War Room tweeted back, “So are we.”
Republican activists were quick to point out Clinton has been the “queen of sexual assault enablers,” posting her photos Hollywood movie mogul – and now convicted rapist – Harvey Weinstein, disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, and her own husband, former President Bill Clinton, whose legacy includes lying about an affair with a White House intern.
The ‘town hall’ turned out to be an awkward event featuring Biden and Clinton talking about the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on women (the disease overwhelmingly tends to kill men), plagued with technical difficulties such as Clinton shouting her lines and both of them not realizing the cameras were live until about 21 seconds into the stream. It attracted fewer than 6,000 viewers.
Biden’s endorsements by high-profile female Democrats – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw in with him on Sunday – come after a former staffer accused him of sexually assaulting her in a Senate building back in 1993. Though Tara Reade offered much more corroborating evidence than Democrats considered credible when they went after Trump or Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the mainstream media have mostly refused to even cover the story, and attacked Reade in the rare instances of addressing it.
The town hall’s timing is already awkward, between Reade’s accusations and Biden’s TV interview in which he complained about travel bans obstructing global “economic intercourse.” Clinton’s presence, even if virtual due to the coronavirus lockdowns, adds further controversy to Biden’s campaign.