Touchy-feely Vice President Joe Biden has long been dismissed as a regular guy of a certain generation prone to displays of emotion, which might include a hand on the shoulder or a whisper in the ear.
But his recent 20-second display of both those moves with Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s wife, Stephanie, at Carter’s swearing-on ceremony has caused a media frenzy that is revisiting the myriad other instances of Biden getting cozy with women, The Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson
She references a Daily Beast piece that referred to Biden’s "tactile cuckolding" and called for a "Veep 'hands-off' policy complete with cattle prods if necessary."
"Biden is in your face, in your lap, in your space," wrote Daily Beast senior editor Tim Teeman
. "He wants a cuddle, he wants to cuddle. He will invade your space. He will man-spread like an oil slick. The question is, how innocent is his all-smiling lechery?
"Whatever the answer, it might include a momentarily-sedating tranquilizer dart."
The vice president’s office declined to comment about the whisper, according to the Daily Mail
, which published some Twitter responses to the most recent Biden too-close-for-comfort moment.
BuzzFeed tweeted a collage of photos of Biden whispering in women’s ears — including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — with the caption:
For years the vice president has been viewed as a charming, "folksy" and "always (overly) familiar" politician, but Henderson opines that a "tipping point" has been reached.
"While it used to be chalked up to Biden being 'Uncle Joe,' it's increasingly being described as 'creepy,'" she said.
"As a man who prides himself on his work on women's issues, Biden might heed his own advice. He said that attitudes are changing about what "constitutes appropriate behavior." That should probably apply to Joe Biden's interactions with women, too."
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