Two more women have come forward to accuse the former vice president of inappropriate public touching at public events. This brings his current coterie of complainants to four.
The latest target of Biden’s shoulder/back-groping is D.J. Hill. She claims Biden put his hand on her shoulder and then dropped it down her back making her “very uncomfortable,” while Hill’s husband made a joke about it.
Then there is former college student Caitlyn Caruso who told a reporter that Biden “rested his hand on her thigh” even as she squirmed in her sheet to show discomfort. Then Joe hugged her “just a little bit too long.” Ironically, the 19-year-old was attending an event on sexual assault at UNLV.
The latest two allegations are close on the heels of accusations of Lucky Flores, a 2014 Democrat lieutenant governor candidate in Nevada. Flores wrote an article accusing Biden planting a “big slow kiss” on the back of her head. In a detailed chronicle of the episode Flores relates how uncomfortable she was, as Biden sniffed her hair: “The vice president of the United States of America has just touched me in an intimate way…and I felt powerless to do anything about it.”
Then, going back to 2015, there was the memorable photograph of the newly appointed Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who had just been sworn in by Biden. As Carter was delivering his speech, his wife Stephanie cringed as Biden stood up against her back with both hands on her shoulders whispering (according to Biden’s staff) “words of encouragement” in her ear.
Returning to candidate Flores’ accusation, Biden defended his actions: “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 continued giving lip service to the rights of women with this claim: “I will fight to build on the work I’ve done in my career to end violence against women and ensure women are treated with the equality they deserve.”
Equal rights aphorisms notwithstanding, Biden has come full circle from his encounter with D.J. Hill from some heavy baggage in the person of Anita Hill. Joe Biden chaired the 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings. As the chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, Biden and his “group of white guys” had the unenviable task of weighing whether an African American candidate for our highest court was guilty of sexual harassment against a subordinate African American woman, Anita Hill.
Long story short, Ms. Hill had credibility problems as well as difficulty getting corroboration from fellow female employees. Also, who can forget the emotion and outrage Clarence Thomas expressed as he accused the process of being a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks”?
It all came down to “he-said, she-said,” and Anita Hill was handled rather roughly by the all-white Senate committee. Said Biden, “I wish I could have done something—I opposed Clarence Thomas’ nomination, and I voted against him.” Biden claimed that he was constrained by committee rules. He also took heat for his refusal to subpoena additional witnesses who declined to testify, or even seek additional witnesses who could have substantiated Hill’s allegations.
“To this day,” said Biden, “I regret that I could not come up with a way to get [Anita Hill] the kind of hearing she deserved, given the courage she showed by reaching out to us.” On the other hand, Ms. Hill reports that she has never received a direct apology from Biden.
So, if Biden becomes a front runner for the Democrats in their bid to defeat Donald Trump, will all this baggage disqualify him from office? Not according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “I don’t think that this disqualifies him from being president…Not at all.” Old Joe, according to Nancy is just somewhat out of touch with the notion that “people’s space is important to them.” What is important is “how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it.”
While Nancy’s advice is straight from Sexual Harassment Avoidance 101, apparently Joe Biden never got the message. The female leader of the Democrat party would have us believe her explanation that Joe was unaware that standing behind someone who is not your wife or girlfriend, sniffing her hair while stroking their shoulders and back could in any context be considered appropriate.
Will the voters believe Nancy or their lying eyes?