Biden Promises to Be More Respectful of “People’s Personal Space”

“I get it.”

Joe Biden delivers the keynote speech at the First State Democratic Dinner at the Rollins Center in Dover, DE on March 16, 2019.Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press

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Joe Biden took to Twitter Wednesday to respond to a recent string of allegations that throughout his career, he had touched some women in ways that made them uncomfortable.

“I’ll be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space,” the former Vice President said in the two-minute video.

He said that it had long been his practice to offer hugs and grab the shoulders of people whom he felt needed his support. But he added that he now recognizes “social norms have begun to change” with respect to the boundaries of appropriate physical contact. “I get it,” he said. “And I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility, and I’ll meet it.

“In my career, I’ve always tried to make a human connection,” he said. “I’ve never thought of politics as cold and antiseptic. I’ve always thought of it as connecting with people.”

Biden has not yet officially announced whether he will join the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, though he has repeatedly hinted that he will. He reinforced the possibility in the video, saying, “In the coming months, I expect to be talking to you about a whole lot of issues.”

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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