Former Vice President Joe Biden might be in some “Me Too” trouble. For years, we’ve seen the photos of the shoulder grabs, him whispering in some woman’s ear and the reactions of what looks like recoil embedded in those pictures. The wife of then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s photo with the former VP is a prime example. Just do a simple Google search; it’s there. Creepy Joe Biden was a running gag. It’s now an allegation. It all stems from a 2014 campaign stop in Nevada for Lucy Flores, who was running for lieutenant governor at the time. In 2014, it was a killing field for Democrats and Biden showing up in the state to lend a hand was welcome news at first. And then, the day came when he arrived (via The New Yorker) [emphasis mine]:
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.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Democrats react to this. Biden is expected to launch his 2020 presidential bid within the coming weeks. He’s already doing the ‘oh, gee golly I’m sorry’ tour on Anita Hill and said that we have to change white culture, or something, whatever that means—all moves to placate and smooth over things that the far left Democratic base might find…problematic. I don’t think they will be forgiving. These moves are transparent and reek to political expediency rather than true contrition. And it’s not like Biden needs to do this; he’s leading in almost every 2020 Democratic candidate poll. As Karol Markowicz noted in her op-ed, he might be talking his way out of a 2020 win. The man is known or having...diarrhea of the mouth. Now, he’s bound to apologize for anything that the base finds troubling. He called Vice President Mike Pence a decent guy, which isn’t insane. It’s a fact actually. Biden caught hell for it and apologized.
For this allegation, Biden could respond the only way anyone could, with the ‘I don’t remember doing this, but if I did it wasn’t intentional. Also, I’ll listen’ (via The Hill):
Joe Biden on Sunday said he does not believe he has "acted inappropriately," but "if it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully."
Biden … said in his "many" years in public life, "I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once - never - did I believe I acted inappropriately."
"If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention," he said.
He added that he is an advocate for the rights of women and willing to be challenged "to see different perspectives than my own."
"I will fight to build on the work I’ve done in my career to end violence against women and ensure women are treated with the equality they deserve," he said. "I will continue to surround myself with trusted women advisers who challenge me to see different perspectives than my own. And I will continue to speak out on these vitally-important issues where there is much more progress to be made and crucial fights that must be waged and won."
So, it seems he’s not letting the allegation that he acted like a creep nix his 2020 plans. He’s a Democrat after all.