On Thursday, Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden announced that former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd would be a key player on the team he’s put together to vet potential running mates, Fox News reported. During his time in the Senate, Dodd helped create the Affordable Care Act and headed up the Senate Banking Committee during the global financial crisis of the late 2000s.
Dodd is also a man with a salacious past, as alleged by Vice. In the 1980s, Dodd was widely regarded as a “party boy and a partner-in-nightlife-crime,” along with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. According to the outlet, his booze-filled exploits have been well documented and include an allegation of a sexual assault.
The story behind the allegation was described in great detail in a GQ profile of Kennedy that was originally published in 1990 and republished in 2016 as the #MeToo scandal exploded.
Allegedly, Kennedy and Dodd were very drunk after dinner at a classy Washington restaurant with their dates. When their dates went to the bathroom, Kennedy allegedly grabbed a waitress, tossed her onto the table — breaking several glasses in the process — then pushed her onto Dodd’s lap. Once she was on Dodd’s lap, Kennedy allegedly began assaulting the waitress. He only stopped when their dates returned from the bathroom.
According to Vice, Dodd was also known for what President Donald Trump has called locker room talk. He and Kennedy were purportedly infamous for their lewd comments and jokes, often made in front of, or to women they were with.
When the Biden campaign announced the appointments, the statement called Dodd “a longtime friend and colleague” of the former vice president for close to 40 years, per Vice.
Twitter was quick to bring up Dodd’s history when reacting to the announcement. Many pointed out that choosing him for such a prominent campaign position seemed like a bad move for the Biden campaign.
It's also politically insane. It creates another news hook that is terrible for Biden. I can't imagine his campaign wants more sexual harassment & assault stories in the headlines, and yet they do this? And for what? The advice and counsel of… Chris Dodd?
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) April 30, 2020
Chris Dodd allegedly sexually assaulted a waitress and never said anything about the assaults committed by his friend and donor, Harvey Weinstein.
So, sure. Makes total sense to involve him in the woman VP selection.
How much of this are we supposed to just accept? I’m tired. https://t.co/XFlW3hYKXk
— Jess Scarane for Senate (@JessforDelaware) April 30, 2020
Vice described the Biden campaign’s decision to choose a man who has also been accused of sexual assault as a co-chair of his committee to pick a female running mate “rather curious.” The campaign has been struggling with the allegations of sexual assault that former Biden staffer Tara Reade made against the former vice president last month. Reade claims that Biden sexually assaulted her in the 1990s when she worked as an aide in his Senate office.
The Biden campaign has denied the allegations, but the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee hasn’t commented on the matter.