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Biden Accuser Comes Forward with Haunting Details on Accusations: 'I Was Mortified'

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Joe Biden may be ahead in the polls for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2020 — even if he’s not in the race yet — but he doesn’t necessarily have a shortage of problems in getting to the nomination.

His moderate image isn’t exactly what the party was looking for in the year of reparations and court-packing. Neither is his voting record on criminal justice or the fact that he expressed doubt about Anita Hill’s story during his time as the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

And consider this quote he uttered in 1975 about racial busing and look at it through the filter of the 2020 election: “I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race.'”

Those were liberal solecisms, however, not scandals. Biden didn’t seem to have any real scandals hanging around. That changed Friday.

In a piece for New York Magazine’s The Cut, Lucy Flores, a former Democrat politician and member of the Bernie Sanders-affiliated group Our Revolution, described a 2014 encounter with the then-vice president and accused him of impropriety.

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Flores, then 35, was the nominee for lieutenant governor in Nevada that year. She talks about how Biden had come out to Las Vegas to host a campaign rally to help the party out in the run-up to the midterms.

“In a state as large but sparsely populated as Nevada, it takes nonstop travel to connect with all its residents,” she wrote. “You’re lucky to get properly fed, much less look properly coiffed as female candidates are often required to do. I was exhausted and short on time, so decided to not to wash my hair the morning of the rally. I sprayed some dry shampoo in my hair, raced off to the Reno airport, and flew back to Las Vegas.”

Flores claims that the vice president approached her right before they came out in front of the audience.

“Just before the speeches, we were ushered to the side of the stage where we were lined up by order of introduction,” she wrote.

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“As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’

“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual f—? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’

“He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head,” she continued. “My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, ‘tragame tierra,’ it means, ‘earth, swallow me whole.’ I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.”

“Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” Flores wrote. “I wasn’t attending the rally as his mentee or even his friend; I was there as the most qualified person for the job.”

According to The Hill, neither Biden nor anyone on his staff recalls any sort of encounter with Flores, but says that he “believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections.”

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“Vice President Biden was pleased to support Lucy Flores’s candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada in 2014 and to speak on her behalf at a well-attended public event,” a statement from Biden spokesman Bill Russo read.

“Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes,” the statement continued.

“But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so. He respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best.”

The non-denial denial isn’t the most reassuring type of statement in politics. In this particular case, it’s especially true when it plays into the “creepy Uncle Joe” stereotype that the former vice president has inadvertently cultivated in pictures and videos that have been kicking around the internet.

While Biden’s name was always murmured during the height of the #MeToo outings, the murmur was never very loud and it didn’t progress beyond tweets or videos like these.

That very much changed on Friday. Unfortunate policy positions and damning quotes may be one thing, but being accused of improper touching — even if the victim says she didn’t interpret it as sexual — is quite another. Furthermore, a quick look at the video record shows we don’t even need more accusations to prove that this kind of thing has happened before. We have it on camera.

Whether or not this was sexual or patronizing or just harmless (or, first and foremost, even true) is something that voters are going to have to decide on. However, it’s unmistakably out there now; there’s no more murmuring.

If and (more likely) when Biden announces his candidacy — he’s expected to do it in the coming weeks — this is going to be one of the first issues he’s going to have to confront. With the rest of his un-liberal baggage, especially related to Anita Hill, Democrats are going to have to wonder whether or not the former vice president is worth it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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