Back when Joe Biden first announced his run for the presidency, Anita Hill said she could not support his candidacy. Today, despite their troubled history, she has had a change of heart.
28 years ago, Biden, then chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee presided over the confirmation hearings in which Hill accused Clarence Thomas, nominee to the Supreme Court, of sexual harassment during the time they worked together at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Biden was criticized for doing little to stop the all-white, all-male members of the committee from attacking Hill during the hearings. Critics also claimed that Biden’s own questioning of Hill was unfair and set an accusing, skeptical tone.
But given today’s contentious political climate, Hill is not only going to vote for the democratic nominee, she has also vowed to work with him on gender issues if he becomes president.
“Not withstanding all of his limitations in the past, and the mistakes that he made in the past, not withstanding those — at this point, between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, I think Joe Biden is the person who should be elected in November,” Hill told CNN‘s Gloria Borger.
Hill stated that those 1991 hearing altered her life. “One of the impacts of 1991 was my desire not to really work with the government in any way. I always said, I think I can be more effective as an outsider as opposed to an insider. And now, I’m willing to evolve myself, to work for change inside,” Hill said.
Defending the criticism he has received regarding Hill’s treatment at the during the hearings, Biden told CNN in an exclusive 90-minute interview in July, “I believed her story from the beginning. I wish I could have protected her more. I did get in shouting matches, as you remember, with some of the witnesses who were saying things that were off the wall.”
The two spoke briefly on the phone shortly before Biden launched his campaign in April 2019, and Biden said he apologized to Hill during the call.
Hill called the conversation “unsatisfying” and would not characterize Biden’s words as an apology. After the call, Biden told ABC Good Morning America that he acknowledged his role as chairman in Hill’s treatment.
“As the committee chairman, I take responsibility that she did not get treated well,” he told ABC.
Apparently Hill was listening, and she now says that she believes that Biden has evolved.
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