Why ‘Joe Biden Being Joe Biden’ Doesn’t Work in the #MeToo Era
Former vice president allegedly touched and kissed a woman's hair without her permission, yet he won't apologize to Lucy Flores
Lucy Flores, a Nevada state legislator (shown above right), was running for lieutenant general back in 2014 when she says that right before a rally in which she was about to speak, then-Vice President Joe Biden touched her inappropriately.
She says he came up behind her, leaned in close, smelled her hair, and kissed the back of her head.
She felt trapped, she said.
She did not know what to do — and essentially froze in place.
The whole encounter left her stunned, embarrassed and upset.
Flores is a Democrat. She is 39 years old.
“At that point, it wasn’t even Joe Biden,” she said in an interview with ABC News this week about the incident. “It was the second most powerful man in the country, the vice president of the United States of America … touching me and kissing me and smelling my hair.”
The former vice president said in a statement on Sunday, “In my many years on the campaign trail and 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.”
Biden, many believe, is soon going to announce a run for the 2020 Democratic nomination for the presidency.
Even fellow Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has called on Biden to say more about the incident.
Warren said at a press conference on Saturday, “I believe Lucy Flores.”
Julián Castro said the same thing on Sunday.
It's On: Elizabeth Warren Says She Believes Biden Accuser https://t.co/3FgMP4t6A7
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) March 31, 2019
Julián Castro: "I believe Lucy Flores. I believe that the Vice President put a statement out on that today on that, and we need to live in a nation where people can hear her truth." https://t.co/79rputFzb8 pic.twitter.com/ed4DGhxc3C
— The Hill (@thehill) March 31, 2019
“First of all, this woman Lucy is very bold to come forward,” said White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday morning to anchor Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” when he asked her about it.
“And I would remind the audience that she shares Joe Biden’s political party. He was there to help the Democratic Party of Nevada and her candidacy. So it’s quite bold for her to go up against the highest levels of her own political party.”
Conway also said, “But all of these post-#MeToo allegations and insinuations really don’t comport with probably Joe Biden’s conduct over the years. If anybody just types in ‘Creepy Uncle Joe’ videos, you come up with a treasure trove. Far more evidentiary information and videos,” she added, than anyone ever found about Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process last year — when scores of people on the Left tried to destroy him and and his reputation through allegations and accusations with “no evidence” at all of “what had allegedly happened 34 years earlier.”
Conway added that she believes “Joe Biden has a big problem here because he calls it ‘affection’ and ‘handshakes.’ His party calls it completely inappropriate.”
And see Conway’s tweet from this morning on this topic:
Other problems for @JoeBiden: Pres. Obama has not endorsed; Dem donors/talent with other candidates; Stacey Abrams seems to have rebuffed his advances to make her VP on his ticket, smartly saying if she were to run, it would be for top spot, not #2. https://t.co/Fq4tv9zXBu
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) March 31, 2019
She also said to Chris Wallace, “I think he’s had the worst non-rollout for any would-be 2020 candidate on the Democratic side. This doesn’t help.”
Wallace didn’t hold back. He said to Conway, “I’m sure a lot of folks are saying there are women who have said much worse about your boss, President [Donald] Trump, in terms of touching them inappropriately.”
Conway replied, “We’ve certainly covered that ad infinitum during the campaign, the transition, practically every day. But, look, what’s happening to the people who alleged all that and who think you have to speak about that repetitively and ubiquitously. Now, they have to … really grapple with what’s going on in their own party with a man who was vice president of the United States until two years ago … And so, let’s have that conversation. And I do think … that we should examine appropriate conduct in the public sphere. But Joe Biden’s intent is only partly or maybe not at all relevant here. It’s really how that woman felt. She feels that it was unwelcome … And she’s coming forward with it because … I suppose she doesn’t want this man to continue to advance in public life.”
The White House counselor then brought up a compelling question that few people are acknowledging.
“Why didn’t he apologize to Lucy?” she said. “Why didn’t he apologize to this woman? Why didn’t he do that? They never apologize to the individual.”
For anyone who might say she’s overstating things — think, for starters, about the case of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
The two had a multi-year affair beginning in the late 1990s when she was a young White House intern and he was a married man and the president of the United States.
As the former White House intern wrote last year in a Vanity Fair piece, “After occupying distant orbits for two decades, we finally reached the perigee. For the first time in more than 15 years, Bill Clinton was being asked directly about what transpired.”
“If you want to know what power looks like, watch a man safely, even smugly, do interviews for decades, without ever worrying whether he will be asked the questions he doesn’t want to answer,” she added.
“But in June of this year , during an interview on NBC, Craig Melvin asked Bill Clinton those questions. Was I owed a direct apology from him? Bill’s indignant answer: ‘No.’”