Joe Biden probably wasn’t going to be the Democratic Party’s pick for president in 2020 because of his age — he’s too old. The Dems are being taken over by youthful, loud-mouth progressives and socialists.
And of course he hasn’t yet declared — but all signs were pointing in that direction.
Then came Lucy Flores, the former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of Nevada, and any aspirations Biden may have had for the high office went bust.
Flores, in a recent piece for The Cut, wrote how Biden made her feel “uneasy, gross and confused” during a campaign rally in 2014 when he kissed her on the back of her head.
Biden, in a Sunday television interview, said he didn’t “recall” the kiss “the same way” as Flores. But he was sorry, just the same.
“I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear,” Biden said, CNN reported. “But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences and men should pay attention. And I will.”
He went on to say he would continue all his fine work for the cause of women’s rights.
“I will also remain the strongest advocate I can be for the rights of women,” Biden said.
OK. But then there was this, a photograph from the 2015 swearing-in ceremony of then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter, when Biden was pictured curiously nuzzling and whispering into the ear of the new Cabinet member’s wife, Stephanie Carter. The photos resurfaced because of Flores.
Carter felt compelled to respond. And though she responded by writing a defense of Biden for Medium — saying the photo was “a still shot taken from a video” and “misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends” — the image doesn’t do Biden any favors.
Neither does a 2015 Time commentary from Karol Markowicz titled, “America Shouldn’t Tolerate ‘Biden Being Biden.’ ” In it, she wrote: “There isn’t anything new about men in positions of power behaving inappropriately. … The truth is, Biden’s harassment often comes at the swearing-in events of the husband or parent.”
Markowicz wrote of Carter, and then this: “One of the more awkward moments from the Joe Biden inappropriate behavior reel is his whispering, grabbing and ultimately trying to kiss Delaware Senator Chris Coon daughter Maggie. She is 13. … That this goes on in front of all of us, and few criticize it, is shameful.”
Flores just retweeted the link to this Markowicz piece.
Above the story, she quoted the last lines of the commentary — “It might be hard for the families of these girls and women to stand up to the vice president. It shouldn’t be as hard for the rest of us” — along with a “thank u @karol for trying in 2015.”
In other words: Flores isn’t going to let the matter drop.
She doesn’t seem as if she’s going to go quietly into that good #MeToo night and take one for the party.
President Donald Trump may have faced his own women issues when he ran for president. But it’s the Democrats who demand women be believed, at all costs. It’s the Democrats who say women who complain of harassment must be taken at their word, even if those allegations are decades-old, even if those accusations come absent tangible evidence.
And these don’t.
With Biden, there are too many photos. And videos. And of little girls, not just women.
As White House counselor Kellyanne Conway put it in a recent interview on Fox News: “If anybody just types in ‘Creepy Uncle Joe’ videos [on the Internet], you come up with a treasure trove.”
That’s not a nickname he could shed in time to run for the White House. That’s not a reputation he could clean or clear in time to become a viable Democratic candidate for the high White House office. If Bidentruly wants to help the Democrats, he ought to just stay home. Of course, there are scores of Republicans out there who may disagree.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.