A blog owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is defending former Vice President Joe Biden Monday morning.
Joe Biden’s habit of smelling, touching, kissing, and generally violating the personal space of women was called into question by many in the media last week in the wake of Lucy Flores’ claim Biden kissed and sniffed her hair backstage before a campaign rally.
“This affectionate and sometimes intimate physical style is one of the former vice president’s trademarks, a defining feature of the warm and upbeat persona he has built during more than four decades in the national spotlight,” according to a Washington Post report.
Biden’s questionable behavior around women became a hot topic of discussion when former Democratic Party candidate for Nevada Lieutenant Governor Lucy Flores accused Biden of uncomfortably touching her, kissing her head, and smelling her hair.
Just before the speeches, we were ushered to the side of the stage where we were lined up by order of introduction. 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 fuck? 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.
The Washington Post downplayed the seriousness of the allegations, however, explaining that Biden is just old and doesn’t know any better.
“Supporters describe Biden’s physical style — which they say he uses with men and women — as a holdover from a different time,” the paper said. “The former senator from Delaware acknowledged its potential drawbacks as recently as this month as he teased a possible presidential run.”
Biden said in statement that he did not recall his encounter with Flores.
Over the years, Biden has gotten uncomfortably close to multiple women and girls in public. Big League Politics reported:
Biden’s been caught on camera embracing a female reporter from behind and gripping her above her waist, just below her bust. At a swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Biden put his hands on the shoulders of Stephanie Carter, Carter’s wife, and then leaned in and whispered into her ear. (He’s whispered into many women’s ears.) He’s also touched women’s faces and necks during other photo ops. Once at a swearing-in ceremony for a US senator, he held the upper arm of the senator’s preteen daughter, leaned down and whispered into her ear, as she became visibly uncomfortable. Then he kissed the side of her forehead, a gesture that made the girl flinch.
The Washington Post left out these details.
The paper has a history of downplaying #MeToo-style accusations – but only when the perpetrators are Democrats. After Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) was accused of sexually assaulting Vanessa Tyson, the public learned that WaPo knew about the allegations, but never published them. The paper claimed that the allegations did not meet its editorial standards, despite Tyson offering Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), whom the paper contacted, as a corroborating witness.
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