Biden, played by surprise guest Jason Sudeikis, meets with his team and tries to explain his touchy-feely ways. "I'm a hugger, I'm a kisser, and a little bit of a sniffer," Sudeikis' Biden said. "But the last thing I want to do is offend anyone."
Two women are brought in to interact with Biden, both of whom, he is told, want a candidate who can beat Trump in 2020.
“You mean the guy who actually bragged about assault on tape?” Sudeikis, as Biden, pointedly asks.
“Yes, but unlike his voters, your voters actually care,” explains a consultant played by Cecily Strong.
As Andrea González-Ramírez wrote for Refinery29 earlier this week, Biden’s actions exist in the realm of transgressions that we’ve come to see as ordinary, as rites of passage for women deal with in the vein of the “boys will be boys” narrative that persists in our society.
The onus has always been on women to signal they are uncomfortable with casual touching, and society has told us for so long that our bodies don’t really belong to us. That is even more so the case when the man doing the touching is a longtime politician and at the time of the reported incidents, the second-most powerful man in the U.S.
Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it. pic.twitter.com/Ya2mf5ODts— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 3, 2019
And while the former vice president has apologized and acknowledged hismistakes in a video shared on his social media accounts, he also doesn’t seem to be taking the issue that seriously, making jokes about the complaints. While speaking at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers conference in Washington, D.C., Biden hugged Lonnie Stephenson, the union’s president. Immediately after he said: “I just want you to know I had permission to hug Lonnie.” The crowd, mostly made up of men, laughed and clapped.
Biden, and men like him, need to take this issue seriously and start keeping their hands to themselves in 2019 (and beyond). Women voters are tired of their concerns being brushed aside, and we’re paying attention to how those running for office are addressing them.