The New York Times addressed the concerns about former Vice President Joe Biden’s allegedly inappropriate behavior but seemingly minimized its impact simply by referring to him as a “tactile politician.”
The Tuesday article, titled “Biden’s Tactile Politics Threaten His Return in the #MeToo Era,” raises the question of whether the former vice president can run a successful campaign against President Donald Trump if there is even the slightest question of impropriety.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. came up in politics as an old-school backslapper whose greatest strength was his ability to connect. He doled out handshakes and hugs to friends and strangers alike, and his tendency to lavish his affections on women and girls was so central to his persona that it became fodder for late-night television jokes.
But the political ground has shifted under Mr. Biden, and his tactile style of retail politicking is no longer a laughing matter in the era of #MeToo.
The authors go on to suggest that, while Biden’s behavior may have been dismissable or even acceptable in years past, recent cultural shifts may have rendered him unviable. “The accusations lodged against Mr. Biden have raised questions about when a ‘tactile politician’ crosses the line into inappropriateness,” they add. (RELATED: Up And Coming Democrats Sacrifice Joe Biden As 2020 Approaches)
A number of prominent figures, such as Meghan McCain, Mika Brzezinski and Alyssa Milano, have stepped up to defend Biden, saying that he is just affectionate by nature. No one in the Democratic Party has suggested that he should bow out of a possible 2020 presidential run.
But Biden’s second accuser, former congressional aide Amy Lappos, argued that chalking his actions up to harmless affection was part of the problem.
“Referring to this type of behavior as ‘simply affection’ or ‘grandpa-like’ or ‘friendly’ is ridiculously dismissive and part of the problem,” Lappos told the CBS Evening News.
“Referring to this type of behavior as ‘simply affection’ or ‘grandpa-like’ or ‘friendly’ is ridiculously dismissive and part of the problem,” former congressional aide, who claims Joe Biden touched her inappropriately at a 2009 political event, says https://t.co/sj5Pl1jzKN pic.twitter.com/eeol66dLav
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 2, 2019