Report: Team Biden suspects Bernie Sanders's campaign of pushing stories about his handsiness with women

A not unreasonable assumption considering Biden’s the only candidate ahead of Sanders in the polls right now and that Lucy Flores supported Bernie in 2016.

Plus, it’s more fun to scapegoat your competition for your political problems than to own the fact that you’ve been touching women at public functions in full view of cameras for 45 years.

I had a mental image last night of one of the women candidates speaking at the first Democratic primary debate. Imagine a close-up shot of Elizabeth Warren talking about new taxes on the rich and suddenly two bony old hands emerge from out of frame to start rubbing her shoulders…

Several around Biden think advisers to Bernie Sanders are at least partly behind the anti-Biden campaign. One prominent backer thinks Biden will run, and “is ready to kill Bernie.”

I got this text last night from a source close to Biden:

“VP directed staff this evening to reach out to supporters and donors with a simple message — full steam ahead.”

That smells to me less like an earnest description of how Biden’s feeling right now than an attempt by fans to steel him at a moment when he might be quietly wavering. He’s taken two jabs about his handsiness in the span of four days; it’s the top story on Drudge this morning replete with photographic reminders. Maybe he’s suddenly discouraged, believing that running would be too hard on his family. Biden boosters might be trying to pep-talk him via the media, urging him to get mad, defend his honor, and hit back.

The case for Bernie as the prime suspect here isn’t airtight, though. In some ways, like name recognition and his popularity with black voters, Biden would be the toughest moderate Sanders might face. But in other ways, given his long record of policy miscues, his #MeToo-ish problem, and the sense that he represents the Democratic past, Biden might be an easier opponent for Bernie than some of the centrist-ish alternatives. Both Beto O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar are conspicuously younger than Sanders and have much shorter lists of obvious political mistakes for him to exploit. It’s the centrists who are already in the race who have more incentive right now to keep Biden out. Wasn’t Flores spotted at an O’Rourke rally not long ago?

Or maybe it’s not a current candidate at all at the center of this whodunnit. Maybe it’s someone who wanted to run, saw no room for a centrist in light of Biden’s imminent announcement, and decided to try to scare him off at the last second to clear space. Hmmmmm:

Michael Bloomberg might still run for president in 2020, especially if former Vice President Joe Biden winds up not getting in, according to people who have discussed the matter with the former New York mayor…

[W]e’re told Biden’s presumed candidacy was a fairly significant factor in Bloomberg’s decision, after massive spending on data and polling.

The race looked like “a bloody fight for the same slice of voters,” a source said.

But Bloomberg really wanted to go, according to numerous friends.

If you want to get really “Murder, She Wrote” on all this, I humbly offer my own hot-take theory based on nothing whatsoever: It’s Hillary who’s quietly orchestrating the #MeToo hits on Biden to try to keep him out of the race and ignite a feminist backlash that will boost her to victory once she stuns America by jumping in late. Top that.

Whatever the answer, here’s the sort of argument he’s about to face. Is he ready? “If he is not malicious, but merely incompetent, this is hardly a defense, and it is certainly not an argument that this socially incompetent man should be given the most powerful job in the world. The mandate to understand basic social cues, and to adjust to a world in which women’s bodies are no longer available for opportunistic fondling by white men in their vicinity, are basic requirements for much less powerful positions than the presidency.” To borrow one of the left’s favorite terms, there does seem to be more than a bit of privilege to Biden’s behavior in all this. You mean to tell me he can casually sniff women’s hair for decades and still earn the most important job in the world whereas I get kicked out of the supermarket whenever I do it in the checkout line?

That’s not fair. That’s not America.

I’m excited to see which Biden fans in the media continue to triple, quadruple, and even quintuple down on their defenses of him as more claims by women that they were made “uncomfortable” by his behavior continue to surface. The ladies of “The View” were highly indignant on his behalf yesterday. And here’s Mika Brzezinski on day two of her own Biden apologia. He’s a “human golden retriever,” said one Biden ally to the Atlantic, describing the alleged innocence of his actions. You might dislike it when Fido (Bido?) humps your leg but let’s not call it rape or anything.