Me Too could lead to Trump 2
By: Jim Longworth
Ever since the 2020 Presidential sweepstakes began, Democratic candidates have been on a continuous apology tour. Kirsten Gillibrand has apologized for once being a conservative and voting with the NRA. Elizabeth Warren has apologized for lying about being a Native American. Amy Klobuchar has apologized for verbally abusing her staff, throwing everything at them from notebooks to tantrums. Bernie Sanders has apologized for turning a blind eye to campaign workers being sexually harassed. Beto O’Rourke has apologized for making statements that smack of misogynism. Tulsi Gabbard has apologized for supporting homophobic policies while serving in the Hawaii legislature. And now, Uncle Joe Biden, a long time Senator and two-term Vice President, has had to apologize for being a space invader.
Biden’s troubles began earlier this month when former Nevada legislator Lucy Flores claimed that Joe smelled her hair and kissed the back of her head while waiting to accompany her on stage at a 2014 rally, in which she was campaigning to be the State’s Lt. Governor. Flores’ five-year delay in feeling “uncomfortable,” spawned a rash of similar Me Too complaints from other women who now say that Joe put his hands on their shoulders, or touched their arm, or pressed his nose against theirs.
Some pundits speculate that Flores is motivated by politics given the timing of her announcement, and considering that, should Biden become a candidate, his chief competition would be Bernie Sanders, a man for who Flores worked in 2016. But video is worth a lot more than speculation, so I reviewed footage of the 2014 rally, and discovered that right after Flores and Biden emerged from the alleged hair sniffing incident, Lucy grabbed Joe’s right hand with her left hand, and thrust them up in the air together, as if she was a boxer declaring victory in the ring. She was smiling broadly during the hand clasp. Clearly, she invaded Joe’s personal hand space, but Joe didn’t complain. No reasonable person would. And yet, five years later, Joe Biden is having to explain and apologize for being Joe Biden.
Last week, iconic women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem told the Associated Press, “I think women are more than smart enough to know that Joe Biden is who he is, and hugs everybody.” Steinem is correct. Joe hugs, kisses, and touches men and women alike. He is a touchy-feely guy who is now having to rethink his way of communicating. But while Joe is relearning 21st Century etiquette (Nancy Pelosi advised him just to shake hands from now on), Steinem’s comment should also serve as a warning to women who are taking the Me Too movement in the wrong direction. In an era when these same women complain of too much vitriol in Washington, their scolding of Joe Biden is ironic, for he is one of the few politicians who always exudes civility.
Certainly, there are valid reasons not to support Joe Biden for President, including his thumbs up on a crime bill that filled our prisons with first-time drug users and a disproportionate number of black men. He also failed to give Anita Hill a fair hearing when she bravely accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. On the flip side, Joe has been a stalwart supporter of women’s rights, he single-handedly forced President Barack Obama into endorsing same-sex marriage, and he has a straight shooter appeal that could derail Trump in the rust belt and Midwest. Given those assets and a wealth of government experience, it would be a shame if hair kissing and arm touching forced Biden to exit the Presidential race before he even enters it. If that happens, then the Me Too movement might be responsible for handing Donald Trump the keys to the Oval Office for another four years, and that’s a personal space we don’t need him in.
Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).