Joe Biden’s Al Franken problem – Washington Examiner
Joe Biden has an Al Franken problem.
Though he hasn’t even officially announced he’s running for president, on Friday Biden was hit with the first of what could be more #MeToo accusations. Lucy Flores, a former Nevada assemblywoman, wrote that in 2014, when she was seeking office and Biden was still vice president, he smelled her hair and then planted an unwanted kiss on the back of her head.
The problem for Biden is similar to the one faced by Franken when he was forced to resign from the Senate: Descriptions of misconduct are more believable when consistent with visual evidence.
In the case of Franken, who several women accused of groping them, we had a photo in which he mocking groped a sleeping Leeann Tweeden when the two were touring together for the USO. The existence of the photo made it impossible for Franken or his defenders to dismiss Tweeden or other female accusers.
In Biden’s case, there is not just photo evidence, but video evidence of him acting creepily among younger women as VP. His antics of rubbing women’s shoulders at events, sniffing their hair, and pecking at them has been the subject of YouTube compilations for years. There’s also a photo of Biden planting his nose in the hair of actress Eva Longoria at the same fundraiser in which Flores said he took liberties with her.
At the time he was vice president, many conservatives were frustrated by the fact that these incidents were dismissed as just crazy Ole Uncle Joe doing his thing. Among others, my friend and occasional Washington Examiner contributor Karol Markowicz called him out and said his antics should not be tolerated.
Had Biden quietly faded into the sunset after leaving office, he probably would have gotten away with it. However, now he’s expected to seek the Democratic nomination in the first election since the #MeToo era began, and he currently is atop polls, and so his rivals are coming for him and the media are much less likely to overlook his problem.
Given how much awkwardness we’ve seen publicly from Biden, it would be surprising if Flores were the only woman to come out and say he made her feel uncomfortable, and the ample visual evidence of him acting creepy will make it hard to dismiss any accusers.