Daily Beast, HuffPost Columns Attack Potential Biden 2020 Candidacy Based on Past Behavior Toward Women

Joe Biden
Joe Biden / Getty Images
November 15, 2017

Columnists at both HuffPost and the Daily Beast came out with pieces within an hour of each other on Wednesday, both arguing that former Vice President Joe Biden should not be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.

"Joe Biden 2020 Is a Terrible Idea in a Post-Weinstein America," wrote HuffPost Washington bureau chief Amanda Terkel.

Terkel argued that in the wake of sexual harassment scandals surrounding powerful men like Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly, and Louis C. K., "Biden is the wrong guy to bear the standard of any party purporting to speak for the victims of unaccountable power."

Terkel mostly focused on Biden's tenure as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when law professor Anita Hill accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Hill said in 2014 that she believes Biden did not defend her claim as effectively as he could have.

But Terkel also noted that Biden has a history of handling women in public in a fashion that made them visibly uncomfortable, especially during swearing-in ceremonies for senators and Cabinet secretaries.

"The teenage daughter of Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.), for example, visibly cringed and pulled away when Biden whispered in her ear and kissed her on the head," Terkel wrote. "In 2015, when Biden put his arms on the wife of Defense Secretary Ash Carter at Carter's swearing-in ceremony, people noticed how uncomfortable the moment looked."

Erin Gloria Ryan agreed in the Daily Beast, arguing that "Dear Lord Would Joe Biden Be a Terrible Candidate for These Times."

"This isn't just based on whispers or rumors; there are so many photos and clips of Biden looming over, or massaging, or gently nuzzling, or whispering to, or kissing women and girls who don't seem all that into it," she wrote.

"Right now, a society grappling with men, power, sexual exploitation, and consent does not need Joe Biden's highlight reel playing alongside Rep. Jackie Speier's pledge to fight sexual harassment on the Hill," she added.