Joe Biden

Joe Biden: Does he “get it”?

Joe Biden’s recent comments about past behavior made many wonder about his chances in the 2020 election. While many considered him a front-runner for the Democratic nomination, that is now in question.

Joe Biden
Former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s comments

Several women recently came out to say that Biden’s actions of touching them and kissing them made them feel uncomfortable.

“I get it,” Biden said in a recorded response broadcast by MSNBC. He went on to say that he will “always believe…that life is about connecting with people. That won’t change. But, I will be more mindful of people’s personal space.”

While some people were somewhat satisfied with these comments, others noticed a lack of any apology for his actions.

Joe Biden’s apology?

Later in the week, Mr. Biden readdressed the issue.

“If I made anyone feel uncomfortable, I feel badly about that,” he said. “It was never my intention ever.”

However, what he said in the same speech got under people’s skin.

“I’m sorry I didn’t understand more,” he continued. “I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything I have ever done. I’ve never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman.”

Chuck Todd and Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. discuss Joe Biden’s comments on “MTP Daily”

Joe Biden vs. #MeToo

Although he had good intentions while making his comments (in both cases), there are still people who find them to not be enough. Case in point? The founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke.

Me Too Founder Tarana Burke
#MeToo founder Tarana Burke

On her Twitter page, Ms. Burke had plenty to say.

“It’s not that people become more ‘sensitive’ over time as Biden suggested,” she said. “And it’s not just about personal space or intention – it’s about bodily autonomy, it’s about power and leadership, and it’s about living into who we say we are and who we want to be.”

While she gave Joe Biden some kudos for his past work, she doesn’t think that should let him slide.

“Yes, Biden has been instrumental in work to support women,” she said. “No, that doesn’t mean he’s above reproach or can’t course correct – but FIRST – he has to do some personal work and not just ‘being mindful’ but apologizing and using the tons of resources available to him.”

Joe Biden’s future

To be sure, Joe Biden has done many positive things over the years he served in office. However, recent societal changes necessitate a change in thinking and – indeed – behavior. After all, it isn’t just about intention. It’s also about the receiver’s perception.

 

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