A point and twist on sexual misconduct?12/6/2017
Can Dr. Andy McGuire reconcile Moore bashing, Clinton denial?
Dr. Andy McGuire of Des Moines, an Iowa Democrat running for governor in 2018, is quick to believe the women who have accused Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual harassment and assault in the 1970s.
She says the Moore accusers, many who were teenagers at the time of the alleged episodes, are credible — which puts her in the company of leading Democrats, and increasingly, Republicans, nationally.
But stories of sexual misconduct are hardly confined to one state or one party.
So if McGuire, a former chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party who has been active in Hawkeye State politics throughout the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton, believes the women behind the allegations leveled on Republican Moore, why not the women who say Bill Clinton harassed and assaulted them — and who further contend that Hillary Clinton covered her husband’s tracks to advance her own ambitions?
Are the facts and depth of reporting on Moore and Bill Clinton different, or is partisan hypocrisy at play here with McGuire — and, on the other side, the Alabama Republicans who believe Moore, but wanted Clinton political scalp over sexual misconduct?
We put the questions to McGuire in an interview recently after she spoke about her own campaign for governor in a meeting with Carroll County Democrats at the courthouse.
Political Mercury: “Do you believe Roy Moore’s accusers, the women who say he victimized them, either through harassment, or even (in an account broadcast) today, assault? Are you inclined to believe them?”
Dr. Andy McGuire: “If you read the (Washington Post) story, it’s hard not to.”
Political Mercury: “So how do you believe them and not Juanita Broaddrick, who accuses Bill Clinton of the same thing? What’s the difference between their claims and Juanita Broaddrick’s claims?”
McGuire: “Was she 14?”
Political Mercury: “No, but she claims that she was raped. Should it matter? Her age?”
McGuire: “Actually, to tell you the truth, I’ve never read the account of that. But when you read the account of this thing with Moore.”
Political Mercury: “So you never read Juanita Broaddrick’s account?”
Political Mercury: “And yet, you supported Clinton in two election cycles?”
McGuire: “I actually wasn’t around here when Bill Clinton was.”
Political Mercury: “No, Hillary Clinton.”
McGuire: “Yes, well Hillary Clinton didn’t do any of this.”
Political Mercury: “Well, part of what Broaddrick alleges is that Hillary Clinton went up to her after the alleged rape occurred, shook her hand, and gazed into her eyes, and basically threatened her if she said anything about it.”
McGuire: “I guess I’ve never read any of that stuff, Doug, to tell you the truth. I only read The Washington Post that put it out (on Roy Moore). The stuff with Roy Moore has such detail, and there’s no gain for anybody. That kind of stuff, with every detail corroborated rings so.”
Political Mercury: “The reporting is a lot more in depth (on Moore). I’ve never seen an equally well-reported story with Clinton.”
McGuire: “I have to say, I neglected to read all that. I just read this recently and as a mom…”
Political Mercury: “So what if a Republican in Alabama just said, ‘Well, you know, I never read the Roy Moore stories. I just know what he stands for, so I’m going to vote for him.’ Isn’t that kind of the same answer you are giving me about Clinton?”
McGuire: “This isn’t when I was voting for Clinton.” ♦
Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman. He and his family own and publish newspapers in Carroll, Jefferson and other neighboring communities.