Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing the first crisis of his, not yet official, front-running 2020 Democratic presidential campaign. There is an allegation by Nevada Democratic politician Lucy Flores that he once made her feel “uneasy” by smelling her hair and kissing the back of her head. This forced the former vice president’s team into damage control mode over the weekend.
Biden said in a personal statement that while he did not recall the alleged incident, it is important for women like Flores to be heard. He added: “We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”
Most believe that it is too early to tell whether this story represents an emerging threat to Biden’s potential campaign in the post #MeToo era.
Biden’s decision to issue a statement about the alleged incident on a day when Flores appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” clearly signaled that his team knew the situation had to be addressed before it became even worse.
A longtime Biden friend told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny on Sunday that there were no signs the former vice president was reassessing his 2020 plans, and that Biden had still not made a final decision.
“I believe Lucy Flores and Joe Biden needs to give an answer,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on Saturday, adding that it was up to Democratic voters whether to support someone in such a position.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Sunday on ABC News “This Week” that she had no reason not to believe Flores.
“I think we know from campaigns and from politics that people raise issues and they have to address them, and that’s what (Biden) will have to do with the voters if he decides to get into the race.”