Lucy Flores, a former member of the Nevada state assembly, just accused former Vice President Joe Biden of making unwanted sexual advances.
In an essay published by New York Magazine on Friday, Flores recounted how Biden inappropriately touched and kissed her without her consent while she was running for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada in 2014. Biden — who is expected to announce a 2020 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in early April — didn’t immediately offer a comment in response to Flores’ accusations.
Flores described how, when she was running an uphill campaign in the 2014 election cycle, got a request from Joe Biden to come to Nevada and do a stump speech on her behalf. The event itself was set to happen just three days before Election Day, in a state where the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Bob Goodman, came in second in the Democratic primary to “none of the above,” so Flores was relieved to get Biden’s help. Flores emphasized the fact that because she was in a hurry, she didn’t wash her hair that day.
As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. “Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?” I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fuck? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?” He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me.
Later in her essay, Flores pointed out how she was far from the first person to accuse Biden of inappropriate behavior, citing multiple examples of Biden “nuzzling the neck of the Defense secretary’s wife,” “kissing a senator’s wife on the lips,” “whispering in women’s ears,” and “snuggling female constituents” (several photos also show him kissing women on the lips at public appearances).
However, despite what Flores experienced in Nevada, and all the various photos and videos showing Biden doing similar things to other women, someone in Biden’s circle described as a “political operative” reportedly made her doubt herself.
“He reminded me that Biden has significant resources and argued points that made me question my memory, even though I’ve replayed that scene in my mind a thousand times,” Flores wrote. “He reminded me that my credibility would be attacked and that I should be prepared for the type of ‘back and forth’ that could occur.”
Despite the prevalence of the #MeToo movement and the multiple photos and videos of the former vice president being overly affectionate with women, Biden is still leading in most polls. A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday showed Biden in the lead among all Democratic presidential hopefuls despite not having declared his run, with 29 percent support. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) in in second place, and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is in third place.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.