Tara Reade’s story isn’t going away any time soon. There will be more interviews, more tweets, more soggy think pieces, maybe even a whole book written in colorful prose about the many things that may or may not have happened to her. Whether any reporter will ever fully investigate the real story remains to be seen.
But a few pieces of the puzzle are still yet unanswered. One of those pieces is this: what drove her to target Joe Biden?
What made her reverse her positive opinion of him from as late as 2018 to seeing him as the source of all of her life’s problems and a worse evil than (or on par with) Trump?
Reade’s anti-Biden push didn’t start until April 2019. when he took a commanding lead in the Democratic primary, and not a minute before.
She explains this away as having seen Lucy Flores come forward to say Biden had made her uncomfortable by “smelling her hair.” This supposedly motivated Reade to come forward and tell a new version of her story. That story was one of a young woman’s career being cut short in D.C., when she was undervalued for not serving drinks at a function and for reporting how Biden made her feel “uncomfortable” when she claims he ran his finger up and down her neck. But Reade initially said she didn’t consider the acts towards her “sexualization.”
What is odd about this story is that it suddenly meant a lot to her to tell it, so much so that she wrote a fresh vivid version of it, in her own words, which she cross-posted on Medium.
When asked later why she didn’t tell the assault story in April 2019, Reade told Katie Halper that she felt “shut down” by the reporter. But there was no one to vet and assess her own essay when she wrote:
But this is not a story about sexual misconduct; it is a story about abuse of power. It is a story about when a member of Congress allows staff to threaten or belittle or bully on their behalf unchecked to maintain power rather than modify the behavior.
She had at last found a platform on a small town newspaper, The Union, and on Medium — she could have written whatever she wanted with no reporter stopping her. So why didn’t she?
Later, Reade shifted her reason to say she just “wasn’t ready.” But her lack of readiness didn’t stop her from pushing her original non-sexual harassment story non-stop for five months on Twitter.
From April to August of 2019, she sent out a deluge of tweets just like these. Hundreds of them, hoping someone would pick up her story and make her name well known to a wider audience:
But no one cared. As you can see by these or the hundreds just like them, there were barely any likes, barely any retweets. No one cared. Tara Reade was not going to become a known name unless she found a way to get the attention of people she targeted. Ronan Farrow, for instance:
The thing is, there isn’t a reporter in the country who would have ignored her if she’d dangled sexual assault their way. They weren’t going to touch her original story because no one really cared much about it. None of the humdrum Biden stories stuck, in fact. He has been overly affectionate at times and that made some people uncomfortable. The Trump supporters have tried to paint this as creepy, but anyone who knows Biden knows it isn’t.
But assault? That is a lit match to a dry bundle of weeds.
The big question still remains: what motivated Tara Reade to target Joe Biden if she did, in fact, target him — which is looking more and more likely.
Theory Number One — She’s Doing It for Notoriety, Which Might Mean a Payday Somewhere Down the Line
Prior to 2019, Tara Reade had been using Joe Biden as a calling card her entire life. He was her golden meal ticket, instant validation that she was worth something. He was the boss she bragged about having worked for, the dropped name on resumes and CVs, a way to seem more important. She once worked for Biden and that meant something. “Is he a good guy or a bad guy,” she was asked, and her answer was always that he was a good guy.
But his name only took her part of the way. Reade drifted from job to job while trying to raise her daughter on her own, and her work with Biden was always the touchstone that reminded her that she had been someone once.
By all accounts, she was forever teetering on the edge of perpetual financial trouble: debts, bankruptcies, requests to borrow money. She drifted from one living arrangement to another, talking her way in and out of paying rent, all the while dropping Biden’s name. She was able to earn people’s trust because, after all, she had once worked for Joe Biden. They trusted her because they trusted him. She was using his integrity to validate hers.
Maybe if she could make a name for herself, she could get a book deal, crawl her way out of debt, finally stop living so close to the edge of financial distress.
Theory Number Two — She Did It for the Bernie Bros
Reade didn’t gravitate towards Bernie until John Cusack noticed her on Twitter when no one else did, and a connection was born that drew her deeper into the Bernie cause. She had never appeared to be his supporter until then. In 2019, as Tara Reade, she supported Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard. Back in 2017, as Tara McCabe, she seemed to be supporting Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren — or really any of several Democrats.
But as her connection to Cusack grew deeper, her fervor for Bernie Sanders grew stronger.
By the time Biden was overtaking Bernie Sanders in the primary, Reade was undone with rage. Rage she’d simply never showed before.
Was Reade caught up in Bernie Bro fever? So much so that she’d be willing to throw down assault allegations to give them what they needed to deliver that final knock-out punch Bernie failed to deliver? Did she do it for John Cusack?
Theory Number Three — She Did It for Sympathy, Love, Attention
Tara Reade has now blamed two men for derailing her life.
Before Biden, there was her ex-husband Ted (Tate) Dronen. For many years, her life story was “I once worked for Joe Biden and escaped my abusive ex-husband.” But the abuse story is a strange and mysterious one that, so far, no one has been able to adequately explain, since there are so many odd contradictions that remain unreconciled:
Tate’s late night stalking became so bad we had to leave the state. His parental rights were terminated in court. I received news that Tate’s DNA was collected by the FBI for two missing women’s cases because he was a “person of interest” — Tate’s profile was that of a sociopath. With the help of battered women’s advocates and law enforcement, as well as new identities for both of us, Molly and I made our escape to the cleansing rains of the Pacific Northwest to start anew.
Reade says he was the one who could not stop stalking her, and yet in reality, he is the one who filed for divorce. Here is their court case, where Dronen denies almost everything she ever said about him. They both agree on a mutually violent incident where she ended up accusing him of assault — and Dronen admits it. But everything else she says about him, according to him, was not true.
How much of Reade’s “escape” story is true? Did she really have to change her name? The story is so dramatic and harrowing, one wonders how any other incident in life could ever top it — he beat her and their baby? He was wanted by the FBI as a person of interest? He was a sociopath? None of it rings true or logical when reading over the court transcripts.
So why would she lie? Did Reade rob her daughter of her relationship with her father these past 20 odd years? Does her daughter believe these things about her father when there is a good chance most of them aren’t true? Reade used this story the same way she used the initial Biden story of harassment: whenever something didn’t work out, it could never have been her fault. She was the chronic victim.
In fact, according to a co-worker, Ben Savage, Reade was let go from Biden’s office because she couldn’t cut the mustard in the fast-paced environment of a star senator on the rise. He gave concrete details to Buzzfeed:
“Did I campaign against her? No,” Savage said in an interview. “Did I provide honest feedback and complain about her? Yeah, I did. I’m 100% certain it contributed to her getting fired.”
Also from the same piece:
In multiple interviews this month, Savage described their relationship as friendly but not particularly close. She confided in him about her personal life, including about a health problem, he said. Yet Savage also found Reade to be a difficult colleague. Beyond small annoyances — he remembered she banged on her keyboard loudly and threw the windows open in the middle of winter — Reade caused repeated problems with the mail program, he said, and struggled to “keep up with the pace and professionalism of the office.”
As though it’s perfectly normal to imagine a guy in the national spotlight for his involvement with the Violence Against Women Act and the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings would risk it all — his marriage, his legacy, his career, his family, his future — just for three minutes with Tara Reade in a semi-public hallway in the Capitol. Anyone who knew Joe Biden or who worked in the Senate knows her story was 100% bullshit, but in the era of #MeToo, as with the era back in the ’90s when concerns of domestic violence was at the forefront, many people will believe anything amidst fear and panic.
When Reade tells her story of domestic abuse, she never mentions the supposed horrific assault that took place in the Senate because her identity then was that of a victim of domestic violence, not assault. Her ex-husband says he felt bad for her because she was upset by a “sexual harassment” story on Capitol Hill, but Biden’s name was never mentioned. Dronen’s sympathy for her is evident, and he thinks it impacted her behavior even a few years after they left Washington. He speaks of her with compassion, not animosity, and in fact has never tried to trash her the way she has done to him. He could, but he hasn’t. That says a lot about his character. An abuser would never pass up an opportunity to trash his victim.
What does Reade gain in telling this story if it isn’t true? Perhaps it is a hope to stir sympathy, love, support, understanding. By portraying herself as a single mother fleeing a violent man and building her life anew, she would be given more allowances than any average person out there trying to build a life. It is also a convenient excuse as to why she was always so broke, why she couldn’t get a job and rebuild her life. After all, she had a promising future that was cut short by a bad man.
But when that narrative currency ran dry, Reade needed a new bad man, and Joe Biden is the man she drafted. The pattern is the same. The only thing that’s changed is that the domestic violence story has disappeared, and in its place — updated for these modern times — sexual assault is her new calling card.
Theory Number Four — Putin Made Her Do It
Tara Reade’s Putin essays weren’t simply just love letters to Vladimir Putin. They were intended to be persuasive essays to convince readers that Putin is actually a good guy:
President Putin scares the power elite in America because he is a compassionate, caring, visionary leader. President Putin has higher approval ratings in America then the American President. President Putin is beloved by Russia and he not going anywhere. Instead of being ensnared in the recent political intrigues (and America is trying hard to set that trap). President Putin is keeping a calm focus on his own country’s development and future, without America.
To President Putin, I say keep your eyes to the beautiful future and maybe, just maybe America will come to see Russia as I do, with eyes of love. To all my Russian friends, happy holiday and Happy New Year.
Her attacks on Biden weren’t just about harassment either. She seemed to be deliberately casting herself as a kind of whistleblower to any Biden detractor who wanted to listen, even the Trump team who tried to concoct the Ukraine “scandal” (that ended up getting the president impeached):
And no one paid attention to that either, so she threw in a couple of ridiculous claims about Biden and Dupont, saying she was “mandated” to hire only Dupont family members:
Later, when interviewed by Bernie Bro reporter Katie Halper, Reade doubled down on her wild claim that there was a directive in Biden’s office to hire only from the Dupont family:
Why would she do these things? She was in a writing group with Russian writers, and her own excerpt from her novel The Last Snow Tiger is in Russian (which is also somewhere in English, but there are no versions of that anywhere).
Whether any of this has a basis in facts or if it’s sheer speculation, no one can know. But it is not that far out of the realm of possibility that the abrupt turning point between her anti-Putin tweets in 2017 and her very pro-Putin stance in 2018 is that she met someone and that person was pushing pro-Putin propaganda. Perhaps even pushing anti-Biden propaganda.
Even that is speculation. Was there money involved? Was she being paid to negatively impact Biden’s election chances? Or was she doing it at the bidding of someone she knew? Right now, they’re just questions.
The one thing we can be sure of is that, to quote a line from Hamilton, “If you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?” Reade’s revised and enhanced assault story thrust her into the hands of conservatives who are now using her claims as a weapon against Biden. She’s still friends with John Cusack on Twitter and is pushing the #BernieOrBust narrative, but she also doesn’t seem to have any problem retweeting The Daily Caller.
Tara Reade is sadly going to be around for a while because there are people around her invested in damaging the one advantage Biden has over Trump: character. But as long as she insists on promoting her fictions, there will be those of us chasing this story to uncover the truth.
The following is an hour long video of Tara Reade’s transformation, as illustrated by her own tweets. You can see for yourself: