Another brick in the wall

Touchy-Feely Politics

Democrats apparently can’t agree if sniffing someone’s hair is creepy.

Former candidate for Nevada Lt. Governor, Lucy Flores, claimed in a piece for The Cut that at a political rally she attended with Joe Biden in 2014, the former Vice President approached her from behind, placed his hands on her shoulders, leaned toward her hair and “inhaled,” and kissed the back of her head.

Objectively, that’s a weird social interaction between two people who barely know each other. It’s even weirder behavior for the Vice President of the United States who should be well aware of how to interact with people in professional settings.

Flores made it clear that she didn’t find his behavior “violent or sexual,” just creepy and inappropriate. If her point was just that men in powerful positions need to be more respectful of women in professional interactions, that seems like a fairly uncontroversial claim to make.

The response to Biden’s alleged behavior (I hesitate to say “alleged” because there’s multiple public photos and videos posted online of Biden engaging in very similar behavior) should have been equally as measured: Stating that Democratic leaders will do better to ensure those they interact with on the campaign trail are comfortable and moving on.

Instead, Democrats seemingly lost their collective minds finding bizarre ways to defend hair-sniffing.

Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, seemingly in defense of Biden, said, “Delaware is a very friendly state… We kiss babies.”

But do people in Delaware also spontaneously sniff people’s hair? Based on my interactions with people from Delaware, I assume the answer is no.

Sen. Joe Manchin and MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski both pointed out that Flores supported Bernie Sanders for President in 2016, and therefore her motives for speaking out are apparently suspicious. Really? Because someone would only be creeped out about the Vice President sniffing their hair if they supported another candidate for president? Never mind that Joe Biden wasn’t even a candidate in 2016.

Of course, responses from Biden supporters on Twitter are even uglier. Biden has been consistently leading in the polls among 2020 democratic candidates, even without officially declaring his candidacy. Many people are unwilling to accept any criticism of their favorite candidate.

There would be less of a fuss if everyone just agreed that Biden needs to stop sniffing people’s hair.

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