We spent all of last week talking about Joe Biden and how handsy and inappropriate he is. We’ve always known that Biden likes to touch people, especially women and girls, and how it was a controversy just waiting to happen, basically. In the current era of Me Too, women finally feel like there’s a public space to finally say how creepy men like Biden are, and how their behavior is inappropriate, unprofessional and discomforting. So far, four women have come forward to talk about Biden touching their thigh or kissing their head or smelling their hair and touching noses with them. It’s enough.
Last week, Biden released a video where he tried to explain himself and that “the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset” and that he “gets it.” He does not get it. Still. And then this happened last Friday:
Joe Biden, in his first public comments since facing allegations of inappropriate physical contact, opened a speech Friday morning by cracking a joke about consent. The former vice president, who is deliberating a presidential campaign, took the stage at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ conference in Washington, DC, and hugged the union’s president, Lonnie Stephenson.
“I just want you to know I had permission to hug Lonnie,” he said, to applause and laughter from the mostly male audience. A few moments later, Biden invited a group of kids on stage, shaking their hands as they came up — but then put his arm around one child’s shoulder. “By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” he said, again to applause and laughter from the crowd.
Biden told reporters after the speech that the comment about Stephenson wasn’t a joke. “I wasn’t joking, the president of the union put his arms around me, that’s how it’s always been,” he said. “That’s how people react.”
Asked by reporters if he feels he owes a direct apology to any of the women who have said he made them uncomfortable, he said “I made it clear that if I made anyone feel uncomfortable, I feel badly about that. It was never my intention, ever, ever.”
Pressed on whether that meant there should be a direct apology, he said, “I’m sorry I didn’t understand more. I’m not sorry for any of my intentions, I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I’ve never been disrespectful intentionally, to a man or a woman.”
As I continue to say, I believe him when he says he never intended to make anyone uncomfortable. But “intentions” in this situation are not the point. The point is that there are multiple women talking how THEY felt when Biden kissed them or grabbed them or stroked them. The point is that it’s not a f–king joke. Consent is not a joke. Women feeling like a powerful older man is pawing at them is not a f–king joke. It’s just more evidence that Biden needs to stay out of the race, Jesus.
Here’s a clip of Biden “joking” about consent and touching people.
And here’s the SNL skit – this was the cold-open for this weekend’s show. Jason Sudeikis seems to love playing Biden.
Photos courtesy of Getty.
Just like the first thing Louis CK did after returning to stage was make a rape joke.
Biden will be Biden.
This is sexual harrassment. It is inappropriate.
He is in the wrong.
This man is disgusting. He should just stfu and go home.
Whoever scripted that video for him must be screaming, and even then the video wasn’t that great…as I said last week, he talks about boundaries being re-set for men, not for women (for harassers, not for victims). This passive-aggressive stunt was just disgusting and I hope he doesn’t announce, and if he does announce, that he fails at the debates and crashes out of the race quickly and goes back to work supporting important initiatives where he can make more of a difference. Whatever his personal problem is, I don’t want him bringing it into the public sphere and setting a continued bad example for men.
Suspect this latest crass move will push a lot of fence-sitters off the fence.
However, the audience of men laughed. And therein lies our problem.
I told Mr. Who about this incident and he had this combination concerned look and smirk, as if he weren’t sure if this were funny or not, whereas when I read about it, I was flat-out disgusted. We’re not young people; we were raised in a world in which “jokers” like Biden were the guys to get along with. Men seem to be having a very hard time understanding the impact of their behavior, as a group.
Reaction has been mixed. Progressives hate him. Older people love him, though & that’s why he’s polling so high. The joking was in bad taste but as I’ve said all along… everyone is missing the point on Biden. There’s so much to question him that if you’re going to focus on this, it’s going to turn every day voters off. I only think like 5 people out of the crowded field should be running but that’s just my opinion, & quite frankly it looks like Sanders & Biden still top the polls. Two people who should be planting flowers, eating jello & playing golf.
I’m starting to think he’s behaving this way in order to attract the white male vote. God I hope it doesn’t work. I don’t want this guy to win the democratic primary.
I think you are on to something!
Folks don’t seem to understand…that his attitude regarding this extends towards his behavior regarding public policy…that dismissive response regarding women was in HIGH EFFECT during the Anita Hill horror and laid the foundation for letting a HORRIBLE person on the SCOTUS….
Ah Joe Biden circa 2008 is back. Remember the one who said that Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy”
Guy has a chronic case of foot in mouth and doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes.
He’s even out of touch joking about his behavior with children……’he gave me permission to touch him”.
I know it was a joke but think about it…..”may I touch you little boy?” Now how creepy does that come across?
Sometimes I feel like establishment Dems WANT four more years of Trump. So many actions lately have felt like actual election sabotage.
Please no one vote for the man in the primary if he runs. Not only is he a grabby out of touch butt munch with dump policy records, but he is also almost 100 years old. “Are they nearly 100 years old?” Is seriously a question we need to start asking in primaries. Most 80 year olds can no longer legally drive, but sure manage an entire country filled with technology that you probably don’t understand and can’t keep up with.
He comes from a different era. He wears his heart on his sleeve. All the trumpers are posting any pic they can find where Biden is touching anyone. trump grabs them by the pu$$y and that’s cool with them. I’m getting closer to deactivating my FB. Grrrr
I know that this is a serious issue but TBH, my first reaction to this was “Pull it together Joe. What would Leslie Knope say????”
There are two groups of people I feel bad for: 1. Friends of mine who support him (no they’re not elders), because he keeps making it worse; and 2. The people he won’t apologize to. You’d think he might learn from #predatorinchief to not base your idea of how popular you are by those cheering in a hand-selected audience.
I can’t believe he’s even considering running for president. Let’s hope he gets the message.
Six weeks ago I was crossing my fingers Uncle Joe would jump in the race. Now, I am all about Pete Buttigieg. He is extraordinary. He talks and my blood pressure goes down and my skin clears up. I think Mayor Pete is going to be a transformational figure for the Democrats and for the nation. Please give a listen to him talk policy if you haven’t yet. Joe Biden has good intentions but he’s out of touch. He could have turned this information into a teachable moment instead his response was defensive and dismissive. He has served us well but Pete is the future, Joe is the past. First time poster, I love this site.
F*ck Joe Biden and all the old men who think they can do whatever they want to women because they have power (most especially Trump, the pussy-grabber in chief). He’s an embarrassment to the party.
At the end of the day your country is just going to ensure trump gets another 4 years. An analogy that is used by several people I know goes something like this…that between getting a slap in the face or having your head completely severed from your body, you guys always ensure with the infighting over having your face slapped that your head comes off. The next election will literally be between those 2 metaphorical choices and I can see where you are going to derail and thrust 4 more years of chaos on not just your country but the entire planet.