So I don’t think Biden’s avuncular pawing is a #MeToo story. (Lappos specifically said the way he grabbed her “wasn’t sexual.”) But if Biden was more oblivious than predatory, his history still puts him out of step with the mores of an increasingly progressive Democratic Party. On Sunday, The New York Times reported that some Democrats are bracing “for an extended reckoning about Mr. Biden and gender if he enters the race.” The inevitably of such a reckoning should make Biden reconsider getting in.
Biden’s issues with gender, after all, go far beyond chronic handsiness. His waffling on reproductive choice troubles many feminists; as The Times reported last week, Biden’s “back-and-forth over abortion would become a hallmark of his political career.” He was the chairman of the hearings on Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination, where Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment, was demeaned and dismissed. Though Biden has expressed sorrow for how Hill was treated, he’s never directly apologized to her.
Beyond gender, on issue after issue, if Biden runs for president he will have to run away from his own record. He — and by extension, we — will have to relive the debate over the Iraq war, which he voted to authorize.