Joe Biden's physicality is a mark of old-school politicians, not a creepy old man

Author: Ross K. Baker / Source: USA TODAY

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Former Vice President Joe Biden promised to be respectful of people’s personal space after allegations of unwanted and inappropriate behavior. USA TODAY

In the fifty years I have spent in the company of politicians one of the things that most surprised me was their public physicality, like Joe Biden’s.

The more radical enforcers of the #MeToo movement are at present cuffing around former Vice-President Joe Biden for an incident that took place in Nevada in 2014. During a campaign rally that year, state legislator Lucy Flores has claimed that Biden stood behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders and buried his face in her hair. Revealing this in a New York Magazine blogpost, Ms. Flores’s account seemed timed to coincide with the imminent announcement of Biden’s intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination and, it would appear, calculated to inflict the greatest damage on Biden.

Biden’s defenders have rallied to his defense, making the argument that’s “Oh, that’s just Joe Biden”, a politician of inveterate physicality. On the face of it, that would seem a pretty lame excuse but consider the fact that explaining that “it’s just Joe Biden” is a great deal different from saying, “Oh, it’s just Harvey Weinstein.”

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I was with Joe Biden when no one was looking, and he was always a champion for women

In the 50 years I have spent in the company of politicians — both male and female — one of the things that most surprised me was their public physicality. I remember sitting in the Senate gallery observing the body language of male senators and thinking that it more closely resembled that of men in a bar than it resembled what one might…

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