At this point in time, there are few places left to turn for a Democrat, none of them ideal. With the new accusations against Joe Biden and his subsequent response, the pool of candidates and potential candidates for the 2020 presidential election has by the day grown larger and more confusing. Often, I write articles because I am confused about the issue. I write about subjects I feel are important, but being able to write about something in length requires a lot of reading. On the issue of Joe Biden, my goal is not to push the reader toward any course of action. This article is just my attempt to educate myself with the resources I have, like any other college student. I was sure that I would vote for Joe Biden in the next election; I am less sure now, but he still has my vote. Here is why.

  Pro-Biden and anti-Biden rationale have many different facts. The recent accusations have become but one facet of an anti-Biden base. The original New York Times article outlines the politician’s very tactile nature, and how it could be interpreted as being inappropriate by today’s standards. He was detailed as smelling women’s hair, kissing heads and putting his hands on lower backs and inner thighs and all the like. It is certainly disheartening to see such inappropriate behavior come from America’s oldest sweetheart. However, many who know him personally have come to his defense. Former New Mexico lieutenant governor Diane Denish, Republican Senator Susan Collins and daughter of late New Mexico Senator John McCain Meghan McCain all spoke volumes about Mr. Biden’s compassion, empathy and nurturing character. The problems seem to arise in his interactions with women he has not known personally, and who, for good reason, have not given him the benefit of the doubt. Seven women thus far have come forward to say that their exchanges with Mr. Biden were very uncomfortable in many different ways. The prevailing notion — and hope — for many Democrats setting their sights on a potential Biden 2020 is that his intentions are of the best sort, but his execution is a bygone era manifested in one large faux-pas. 

This feeds into an original anti-Biden concern. How can an old white man possibly stand as a masthead for the party of the future, the party of aware citizens and the party of the new female wave? It is like a recurring nightmare for Biden, who presided over the Clarence Thomas confirmation in 1991. You, O news reading Brandeis student, might remember that Prof. Anita Hill (Heller) testified against Thomas on the grounds of sexual assault. According to the Atlantic, “Joe Biden, chair of the Judiciary Committee, was precisely the person who could have prevented the abuse Hill endured.” In a Washington Post interview with Hill, one of the interviewers puts forward the fact that Biden did apologize and fully recognize that she was assaulted. To this, she replies, “You didn't read his full apology. He said, ‘I am sorry if she felt she didn't get a fair hearing.’ That's sort of an ‘I'm sorry if you were offended.’” This kind of language bears too much semblance to his most recent apology. “I get it, I get it, I get it… but I will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space,” says Biden. Coming back to the political stage, his agenda was not furthered by the jokes he made about the issue. After giving out a couple hugs, he wryly noted that he had permission first. 

Joe Biden is a politician who built a career based on his ability to be authentic and form human connections. Touch is one of the ways he claims to accomplish this. Being totally, unapologetically himself might be his hamartia in the end. Nevertheless, if Joe Biden does run for president, his track record is not ideal, but it shows him to be best equipped to rehabilitate a dying American democracy. Albeit poorly expressed, this nurturing disposition may be what the country needs. The amount of damage President Trump has done can be rectified by a number of different candidates, and in this I am hopeful. If he runs, I will still vote for Joe Biden because he has spent a lifetime putting things back together. He has support from across the aisle. I think he is genuine in what he says. Meghan McCain tweeted, “Joe Biden is one of the truly decent and compassionate men in all of American politics. He has helped me through my father’s diagnosis, treatment and ultimate passing more than anyone of my fathers friends combined. I wish there was more empathy from our politicians, not less.” In the end, so do I.