Anita Hill hasn’t jumped on the Joe Biden bandwagon to support his 2020 candidacy for President, and after meeting with him, she probably won’t anytime soon.
Hill is still haunted by Biden’s handling of the 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas and the Senate Judiciary Committee’s treatment of her.
In particular, Biden, who was the chairman of the committee at the time, failed to call witnesses to testify on Hill’s behalf.
Now that Biden is running for President, he knows that his past has caught up with him.
On Thursday his team said Biden reached out to Hill in a phone call, that reportedly didn’t go over so well.
“They had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country,” said Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, The NY Times reported.
For Hill, a simple “I’m sorry” won’t cut it at this point.
“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying, ‘I’m sorry for what happened to you,’” said Hill, now a professor of social policy, law and women’s studies at Brandeis University. “I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose.”
But she admits, “I’m really open to people changing,” she said.
She added, however she can’t support Biden for president until he fully admits his wrongdoing and takes responsibility for his conduct. That includes admitting his failure to call witnesses, other women, who were willing to testify before the Judiciary Committee and offer validation to her claims.
Hill said when he left them out, he created a “he said, she said” situation that could have been nipped in the bud.
“The focus on apology, to me, is one thing,” Hill said. “But he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw. And not just women. There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence.”
Biden took his campaign tour to The View today and when the hosts pressed them about his treatment of Hill he still didn’t do the right thing.
Biden said, “I’m sorry she was treated the way she was treated.” But he also said, “I don’t think I treated her badly.”
When pressed to address how his physical interactions with women have been received, he offered, “I’m sorry I invaded your space.”