Addressing charges that Joe Biden behaved inappropriately toward former Nevada legislator Lucy Flores, a spokesperson for the likely presidential candidate said, “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.”
Flores has alleged that, at a 2014 campaign appearance, then-Vice President Biden leaned in behind her, “inhaled” her hair and “proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head.”
She described behavior that’s (at least) creepy and goes well beyond what could be expected even of a “tactile” politician such as Biden. On the other hand, there appears to be no video of the interaction between Biden and Flores, and no witness has come forth to corroborate her account. As a prominent Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 who seems eager to back a non-Biden candidate in 2020, Flores might have a political motive to exaggerate her recollection. Going on the evidence that now exists, her charge is hard to evaluate.
According to the standards of culpability that Biden has articulated in similarly conflicted situations, however, it’s an open-and-shut case. Perhaps no major American political figure has so consistently championed the erosion of due process for those accused of sexual misconduct.