“Joe Biden joked about the controversy that has engulfed his campaign-in-waiting in his first public appearance since several women accused him of touching them inappropriately.
“Biden arrived on stage at the Washington Hilton to address the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) conference and shook the hand of the union president, Lonnie Stephenson, before giving him a brief hug.
“I want you to know, I had permission to hug Lonnie,” Biden said to laughter from the crowd.” (Report in The Hill, 6 April)
Coming from Britain, the first thing that struck me about the United States was, with some great exceptions, the seriousness of people I met. Sweeping generalisation though it may be, I came from a business environment where jokes and funny remarks started at 8 in the morning and finished when everyone dispersed home, often from the pub. Employed on customers these jokes and ironic comments were an important part of our business model, as the business school types would call it.
Isn’t it nice to hear Biden make a joke of hugging Mr. Lonnie Stevenson. A joke! Wow! The constant torrent of political correctness is really getting boring, actually BORING, even to this liberal Epicurean. Yes, Biden is a touchy-feely guy, but he seems a nice man. You can criticize some of the decisions he made years ago, or say he is too old to do the job of President vigorously enough. But to try to get him ruled out of contention for President is taking yourself way, way too seriously. I recognise that his actions are paternalistic and make some people uncomfortable, but he thought at the time they were encouraging and supportive. He seems to be adjusting to the new paradigm. Lighten up, Ladies!