We all have made jokes about former Vice President Joe Biden being a bit…handsy with some of the folks he’s met on the campaign trail, those he has sworn into office, and the people he’s stood nearby at a swearing in ceremony. On the latter, I’m referencing the super awkward shoulder grab of the wife of then-newly sworn-in Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Well, it seems those playful antics weren’t taken as such for Lucy Flores, who ran for Nevada lieutenant governor in 2014. Flores detailed how initially she was thrilled that Joe Biden would be paying her a campaign visit.
The 2014 midterms were going to be a bloodbath for Democrats. Turnout was expected to be low, nationally GOP voter enthusiasm was through the roof, and no one really seemed to care about her state’s slate of races either. In the end, the GOP would reclaim the Senate and hold the most seats in the House since the 1920s. It was not going to be a pleasant election cycle for the Left, but Flores pushed on despite the travel was brutal. She notes the latter is critical to connecting with voters in her sparsely populated state. The story should have been a fun one. Eva Longoria of the Latino Victory Project, the group that pushed the piece of trash ad smearing Ed Gillespie in 2017, attended but was found by Flores’ staff wandering the parking lot trying to get into the venue for her campaign stop. It was a typical campaign trail chaos story. Flores was prepping her remarks when Joe arrived. She detailed her encounter with Biden inThe New Yorker, where he touched her shoulders, smelled her hair, and then kissed her on the back of her head. Biden did not know Flores. She felt super uncomfortable—and in today’s era, that’s sexual harassment. And yes, she also cited Ash Carter’s wife being manhandled on stage because…that’s a prime example of a creepy Joe story [emphasis mine]:
As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. “Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?”
I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual f**k? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?” He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.
By then, as a young Latina in politics, I had gotten used to feeling like an outsider in rooms dominated by white men. But I had never experienced anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before. Biden was the second-most powerful man in the country and, arguably, one of the most powerful men in the world. He was there to promote me as the right person for the lieutenant governor job. Instead, he made me feel uneasy, gross, and confused. The vice-president of the United States of America had just touched me in an intimate way reserved for close friends, family, or romantic partners — and I felt powerless to do anything about it.
After the event, I told a few of my staff what happened. We all talked about the inexplicable weirdness of what he did, but I didn’t plan on telling anyone else. I didn’t have the language or the outlet to talk about what happened. Who do you tell? What do you say? Is it enough of a transgression if a man touches and kisses you without consent, but doesn’t rise to the level of what most people consider sexual assault? I did what most women do, and moved on with my life and my work.
Time passed and pictures started to surface of Vice-President Biden getting uncomfortably close with women and young girls. Biden nuzzling the neck of the Defense secretary’s wife; Biden kissing a senator’s wife on the lips; Biden whispering in women’s ears; Biden snuggling female constituents. I saw obvious discomfort in the women’s faces, and Biden, I’m sure, never thought twice about how it made them feel. I knew I couldn’t say anything publicly about what those pictures surfaced for me; my anger and my resentment grew.
Had I never seen those pictures, I may have been able to give Biden the benefit of the doubt. Had there not been multiple articles written over the years about the exact same thing — calling his creepy behavior an “open secret” — perhaps it would feel less offensive.
For years I feared my experience would be dismissed. Biden will be Biden. Boys will be boys. I worried about the doubts, the threats, the insults, and the minimization. “It’s not that big of a deal. He touched her, so what?” The immediate passing of judgment and the questioning of motives. “Why now? Why so long after? She just wants attention.” Or: “It’s politically motivated.” I would be lying if I said I didn’t carefully consider all of this before deciding to speak. But hearing Biden’s potential candidacy for president discussed without much talk about his troubling past as it relates to women became too much to keep bottled up any longer.
So, Joe has Me Too drama on his hands. This is after his apology to Anita Hill over the Clarence Thomas confirmation; Hill lobbed allegations of sexual harassment against him in a Hill fiasco that was similar to Brett Kavanaugh’s attempted character assassination by the Left. Then, he goes on some odd lecture about changing white culture. The man is obviously trying to re-write history in order to make his 2020 run seem less problematic to a left-wing base that has become obsessed with identity politics and political correctness, as Karol Markowicz noted in her op-ed for The New York Post:
Nicknamed “Amtrak Joe” because of his regular-guy habit of hopping the train to go home on weekends when he served in Congress, Biden would be a shoo-in for the nomination in regular times. But these are not regular times.
Instead, Biden has gotten himself caught up in a web of wokeness. Railing against “white male culture” this week, Biden apologized for his role during the Anita Hill testimony, as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman for the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings nearly 30 years ago.
“To this day I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to give her the kind of hearing she deserved,” Biden said.
It’s peak wokeness to self-flagellate and apply modern-day sensibilities to events that happened decades ago, but what’s interesting about this particular line of self-attack is that Biden toed the Democratic line even then. “I wish I could have done something, and I opposed Clarence Thomas’ nomination — I voted against him.”
Apparently, that’s not enough. And this was just the latest stop on what The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein calls “Joe Biden’s Apology Tour.” Klein predicts Biden’s involvement in the hearings “is sure to dog him as he seeks the Democratic nomination, so it’s obvious he was trying to get ahead of the story.”
…Biden got in trouble with the wacky left for his compliment and was badgered on Twitter by actress Cynthia Nixon, who called Pence “America’s most anti-LGBT elected leader.”
Taking no chances, Biden spun on a dime and apologized for saying something nice about the vice president.
Markowicz added that the funny aspect to all of this is that Joe is running as if he’s in fourth place; he’s in first in most 2020 Democratic polls.
But now, we have some inappropriate physical contact from a 2014 campaign pit stop? Word on the street is by early April Biden 2020 will be official. How will he handle this? The ‘Believe All Women’ sisterhood is about to get him, and there’s no getting away from it. Even in his previous mea culpa moments, which weren’t bad to begin with, that’s he’s now regretting probably won’t be taken seriously. It reeks of political expediency and not authenticity, the latter of which he’s known for despite his appalling liberal politics. Creep Joe is no longer a running joke. It’s now an allegation. And I hope the Left rips itself apart over it.