How awkward can a shoulder squeeze and whispering in the public be? Well, ask Stephanie Carter, the wife of Ashton Carter, the newly sworn-in Defence Secretary of the world’s strongest military force in US. Yes, you may ask who the intruder was. No, it was certainly not the husband. None other than Vice President Joe Biden could have gone this awry to touch and squeeze someone else’s wife’s shoulders! Am I sounding too obnoxious? Well, then what is your idea of Joe Biden’s act in public during the swear-in ceremony of Ashton Carter?
If squeezing Stephanie’s shoulder and keeping his hands on them for 28 long seconds was not enough, he also had to get too close to her to whisper something in her ear or probably was it to smell the beautiful fragrance of her shampoo? (*laughs*)
Wonder what he could have whispered to Stephanie when her husband was delivering a speech while swearing as the new Defense Secretary of US, speaking of “the highest honour of his life” and his “perfect wife, Stephanie.” The act was the biggest dishonour to the life of Ashton.
Twitter as usual has taken offense to his awkward, unpleasant acts and even ridiculed his sense of intruding in other’s space:
— Ricochet (@Ricochet) February 18, 2015
No #JoeBiden you misunderstood the 'Vice' in 'Vice President' .
— Harshad Sapre (@Harshad_Sapre) February 19, 2015
The explicitly ‘I don’t want it’ look on Stephanie’s face with Biden’s hand rubbing her shoulders made the whole episode even more awkward and offensive. The Washington Post also makes a note of Stephanie’s expression, “She certainly does not look happy. More like annoyed.”
One of the Tweets also says that groping someone when she is afraid to say no is not an action by consent.
— Maxine (@Maxinerunner) February 19, 2015
Even as Ash Carter made his entry into the defence scene of US, the public seemed not to be paying attention to his words as they had ‘Biden with his Bidenism’ around. Carter’s hand too touching his wife’s shoulders at a time during his speech – was it to make a point or focus on the fact, especially to make it clear to Biden that Stephanie is his wife.
This is Biden’s latest piece of creepiness. He has crossed his limits yet again. Before this he has acted as the jester when he has called ‘jobs’ a 3-letter word, or that ‘the President has a stick’ and mind you, he is really good at it. He does not stop at this, but goes on to cuddle you, grope you, squeeze you. Ok. Let’s not get any further into this.
We would not like to disagree when The Onion mocked Biden as ‘an administration screw-up and a boozy womanizer.’
The anti-extremism summit at the White House first saw Biden talking about minority community, Somalis as “very identifiable” and then this – the very touchy, feely act with Stephanie. It was Biden who brought Stephanie to his side of the podium who earlier was brimming with joy and pride at her husband’s success and then started feeling rather uncomfortable. At least it seems so in the pictures.
I suppose Biden was the one swearing in Ash Carter so he should have focused on that more. However, to each, his own!
Biden’s Senate swear-ins have always received much attention more than the Senate speech itself. This incident on Tuesday was no different. When Senator Chris Coons sweared in as the Senate, Biden did not back off from whispering in the ears of Maggie, the Senate’s daughter, which Coons later addressed as words of encouragement. Maggie, of course, looked much uncomfortable with the close-up.
While Biden might say that he sure does not make anyone uncomfortable and that his familiarity with the people swearing in gives him the authority to touch their wives and daughters in an awkward intrusion of their space and his close sources deeming his act as nothing but his “charm”, we feel that he either tries to exert power over the person swearing in by touching their female family members publicly, or cannot keep his hands off them.
Guess it’s time to make a rulebook on ‘hands-off’ policies especially for the VPs of the State.