On Thursday, former Vice-President Joe Biden announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States, with … a tweet … that was full … of ellipses and a logo that says “JO.” He prepared himself for this announcement, it seems, by once again not apologizing to Anita Hill.
According to the New York Times, earlier this month, Biden called Hill to, as the Times put it, “express his regret” for what she went through in 1992, when she testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee (which Biden chaired at the time) about Clarence Thomas’s history of sexual harassment.
Hill told the Times that she left the conversation “feeling deeply unsatisfied.” The paper notes that she “declined to characterize his words to her as an apology,” and also said that she could not support Biden’s presidential run. Hill added that he needs to take accountability not just for how he treated her, but for the damage those hearings did to people around the country. Per the Times:
“The focus on apology to me is one thing,” she 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.”
This “expression of regret” is the latest in a long series of non-apologies Biden has offered Hill over the years, carefully crafted comments in which he concedes that she was mistreated by the Senate Judiciary Committee during her hearings but fails to accept any personal responsibility as the then-chairman of the committee for how the hearings were handled.
Most recently, at the Biden Courage Awards in New York City in March, he told the crowd that Hill “paid a terrible price.” “She was abused in the hearing,” Biden said. “She was taken advantage of. Her reputation was attacked. I wish I could have done something.”
Maybe in a few years he’ll be saying the same thing about his behavior toward Anita Hill now.