Joe Biden was reportedly “confused” and “useless” as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas, according to the chief of staff of late-President George H.W. Bush.
John Sununu, who as Bush’s chief of staff from 1989 to 1991 oversaw Thomas’s confirmation, told the Washington Examiner on Saturday that Biden was paralyzed by inaction during the episode, especially after Anita Hill came forward to level accusations of sexual harassment against the then-nominee. In particular, according to Sununu, Biden struggled with whether or not to allow Hill to testify in front of his committee about the purported harassment.
“One of the reasons it got so difficult is that the chairman of the committee was relatively useless,” Sununu said of the former vice president, before adding Biden “was confused” throughout the entire process.
“He didn’t know whether he wanted to do the right thing or whether he wanted to cave in to the liberals that were trying to really, in a very disgraceful way, ruin the reputation of a very good man, currently Justice Thomas,” he said.
Biden, who at the time was serving his first stint as chairman of the judiciary committee, eventually did “cave in to” the pressure and allowed Hill a platform upon which to speak. Hill’s testimony, however, did not sink Thomas, but only served to muddy the initial accusations and divide large segments of the country. read more