Please note that Senator Bernie Sanders has two male major competitors, VP Joe Biden, and former TX US Congressman Beto o’Rourke who are giving him a run for his monies to become the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate.
The third contender is his colleague Senator Kamala Harris who is definitely not a wilting flower, which he’ll soon discover, should he turn his sights towards trying to disparage her reputation.
It turns out that Senator Bernie Sander’s movement has already been waging war against another Democratic Party 2020 presidential contender, Beto O’Rourke. As per a 12/23/2018 NBC report by Jonathan Allen and Alex Seitz-Wald, “Forces loyal to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are waging an increasingly public war against Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the new darling of Democratic activists, as the two men weigh whether to seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2020.”
“The main line of attack against O’Rourke is that he isn’t progressive enough — that he’s been too close to Republicans in Congress, too close to corporate donors and not willing enough to use his star power to help fellow Democrats — and it is being pushed almost exclusively by Sanders supporters online and in print.”
“It’s been the first flashpoint in what promises to be a politically bloody primary — one that has drawn responses from foot soldiers in the Obama and Clinton wings of the party — as Democrats begin to focus on who has the best chance to deny President Donald Trump a second term in the Oval Office.”
He had already lost any possibility to earn my vote as I’m determined not to support any candidate who resorts to cannibalizing his/ her fellow opponents.
I feel the same way about Senator Kirsten Gillibarand.
But in a blog post published Sunday on Medium, Stephanie Carter, the wife of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter wrote that Biden’s display of affection toward her in 2015 was appreciated, as she was “uncharacteristically nervous” after slipping on some ice upon her arrival at the Pentagon earlier in the day.
The scene in the below photo is not dissimilar from the one Lucy Flores alleges took place at a Las Vegas rally five years ago, when she says former VP Biden leaned in to smell her hair and plant an “awkward kiss” on the back of her head. In 2014, Ms. Flores was then Nevada’s Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.
After reviewing numerous photos of Lucy Flores, a Senator Sanders’ supporter, it is my opinion that she selectively chose to complain about VP Biden having kissed her on the head from behind, but please review the photos to decide for yourselves.
The following opinion piece best reflects my opinion regarding Ms. Flores complaints about VP Joe Biden.
Here’s the rest of the story…
“As per a 4/1/2019 Chicago Tribune analysis, What if we read that essay Lucy Flores wrote about Joe Biden and decided not to hate either of them?” by Heidi Stevens, “Here’s what we know:”
“Former Nevada state representative Lucy Flores, the 2014 Democratic nominee for Nevada lieutenant governor, wrote an essay, published 3/29/2019 in New York magazine, headlined “An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden.”
She writes about a 2014 political rally, during which she was waiting to give a speech when, she alleges, former Vice President Biden approached and put his hands on her shoulders.
“I felt him get closer to me from behind,” she writes. “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 (expletive)? 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. 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.”
Here’s what we also know:
Biden released a statement Sunday saying, “In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
And here’s what we really know:
This will get ugly. Has already gotten ugly. Will get uglier.
Which one of them do I hate now?”
I wonder if we can understand, at some point, that a story doesn’t always have a hero and a villain.
I wonder if we can get to a time and place, as a culture, when we read words like Flores’ and think, “There’s information I didn’t have before. That changes how I feel about this guy.” Or, “There’s information I didn’t have before. That doesn’t change the way I feel about this guy one bit.”
Without the name-calling and character assassination and vitriol along the way.
“We’re not, after all, debating whether charges should be brought against him. In the essay, Flores writes, “I’m not suggesting that Biden broke any laws.”
“Some will argue that a story like Flores’ can destroy a man’s reputation and career, so her words merit a strong reaction. But that’s not altogether honest.”
“President Donald Trump was elected to the presidency after he bragged on tape about grabbing women by their genitals. He’s been accused of unwanted kissing and groping by multiple women and remains firmly in power. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is now a Supreme Court justice, in spite of Christine Blasey Ford accusing him of a long-ago sexual assault.” (I DO NOT EQUATE DR. FORD’S SEXUAL ASSAULT ASSERTION WITH MS. FLORES COMPLAINT.)
“Women’s stories — particularly a lone woman’s story — often get discredited or brushed aside. Rarely, however, does the woman telling the story escape public scorn.”
“Does it have to be this way?”
I like Biden. I appreciate his work on the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. I respect his “It’s On Us” efforts to end campus sexual assault. I loved the open letter he wrote to the survivor of a horrific rape at Stanford in 2016.
“Had there not been multiple articles written over the years about the exact same thing — calling his creepy behavior an ‘open secret’ — perhaps it would feel less offensive,” she writes. “And yet despite the steady stream of pictures and the occasional article, Biden retained his title of America’s Favorite Uncle. On occasion that title was downgraded to America’s Creepy Uncle but that in and of itself implied a certain level of acceptance. After all, how many families just tolerate or keep their young children away from the creepy uncle without ever acknowledging that there should be zero tolerance for a man who persistently invades others’ personal space and makes people feel uneasy and gross?”
Context for the 2020 presidential race, which no fewer than 15 other Democrats have already entered. (Biden is still said to be weighing a bid.)
What we don’t know:
Whether this will be a temporary blip on the political landscape or the beginning of a story that drags on for weeks or months or longer.
Regardless, the way Flores is being treated and talked about is likely to stick with her for a lifetime.
I have to believe we can come up with a better way.