Four more women surfaced to accuse former Vice President Joe Biden of inappropriate behavior, including two who worked at the White House. That brings the total to eight who say Biden is a little friendly and free with the kisses and hugs.
The women say Biden’s new video apology isn’t enough, and that he still doesn’t seem to understand his problem.
Yet the latest polls still show Biden far ahead of opponents for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Question is, can Biden survive the #MeToo onslaught?
Gillian Turner was a White House staffer for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She told Fox talker Howard Kurtz that her Biden moment occurred the first time she met him in 2009 when she toiled at the National Security Council.
“First meeting ever,” she said, describing the meeting this way. Biden opened the conversation with “you’re beautiful”:
And he put his hand around my waist and we took a photo together. Did it make me uncomfortable? No. But, do I remember it 10 years later because it was out of the norm of my other experiences at the White House? Yes. And so I think it’s a perfect example of the kind of conversation that people are now starting to have about him, which is that he does have markedly different behavior than a lot of other government officials and I that think it’s up to every woman to make a determination about how they feel about their interactions with him.
On Friday, the Washington Post disclosed the stories of three other women who say Biden crossed the line.
A former White House intern, Vail Kohnert-Yount was leaving the basement of the White House in 2013 when Biden was entering, she told the Post. She stepped aside to let Biden through, but “after she moved out of the way ... Biden approached her to introduce himself and shake her hand.”
Creepy Joe put on the forehead-to-forehead full-court press: “He then put his hand on the back of my head and pressed his forehead to my forehead while he talked to me. I was so shocked that it was hard to focus on what he was saying. I remember he told me I was a ‘pretty girl.’”
Though Biden intended the remark as a compliment, and she didn’t consider head-to-head meeting an assault or harassment, “it was the kind of inappropriate behavior that makes many women feel uncomfortable and unequal in the workplace,” she told the Post.
Biden also trespassed the personal space of Sofie Karasek, a sex-assault activist.
She met Biden after appearing on stage with other sex-assault victims at the Oscars. When she met Biden, she “was thinking about a college student who had been sexually assaulted and recently died by suicide,” the Post reported, and told him the story.
Then Creepy Joe got all creepy again:
Biden responded by clasping her hands and leaning down to place his forehead against hers, a moment captured in a widely circulated photograph.”
Karasek said she appreciated Biden’s support but also felt awkward and uncomfortable that his gesture had left their faces suddenly inches apart. She said she did not know how to respond to, as she described it, Biden crossing the boundary into her personal space at a sensitive moment.
A photo of the moment went viral.
Ally Coll “said she was a young Democratic staffer helping run a reception of about 50 people when Biden entered the room,” the Post reported. When she met Biden, he “leaned in, squeezed her shoulders and delivered a compliment about her smile, holding her ‘for a beat too long.’”
[S]he felt nervous and excited about meeting Biden at the time and shrugged off feelings of discomfort. She says now that she felt his alleged behavior was out of place and inappropriate in the context of a work situation.
Four of Biden’s victims surfaced last week, one of whom he hugged “just a little bit too long” at an event on sexual assault. Another discussed getting the patented Biden Back Rub, another said Biden sniffed her hair and kissed her from behind, and yet another said Biden delivered an Eskimo kiss that left her frozen with disgust.
Biden tweeted a video in which he vowed to be “much more mindful” about his tactile ways, but the women say that isn’t enough. Coll, for instance, told the Post that Biden’s nonapology shows “a continued lack of understanding about why these stories are being told and their relevance in the #MeToo era.”
Despite the cascade of bad news, Biden’s grip on the Democratic nomination, the polling data show, remains firm. The Real Clear Politics polling average puts Biden 8.6 points head of communist apologist Bernie Sanders. The others aren’t even close.
Photo: AP Images