With a long video history of creepy touching and nuzzling women and young women in front of the cameras, Joe Biden now has four women who accuse him of doing similar things off camera.

There is little doubt this has hurt Biden because it throws off his plans for a smooth campaign announcement — if he announces. It also cements his nickname for the campaign: Creepy Joe.

Whether it will keep Biden from running at all remains to be seen. It took him a few days, but he finally came up with a strategy that tries to thread the politically acceptable needle: “Believe all women” while also denying misconduct the women believe took place.

Biden’s strategy is to say that times have changed, what once was considered acceptable no longer is considered acceptable, and he understands that.

Here’s the video he posted on Twitter (click on image for video):

Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.

Here is a partial transcription of his remarks in the video, via The Daily Mail:

‘I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I’ve made to some women and some men and I’ve made them uncomfortable,’ he said in a video posted on Twitter.

‘I always try to be in my career, always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I hug people. I grab men and women by the shoulders and say you can do this, whether they’re women, men, young, old. It’s the way I’ve always been and tried to show that I care about them and I’m listening,’ he said….

In his video remarks, Biden referred to a tragedy earlier in his life, when his wife Neilia and daughter Naomi were killed in a car crash in December 1972, shortly after he was first elected to the Senate. Sons Beau and Hunter survived although Beau died in May 2015 of brain cancer.

‘Over the years knowing I’ve been through, the things that I’ve faced, I found that scores, if not hundreds of people have come up to me and reached out for solace and comfort. Something, anything that may help them get through the tragedy they’re going through. So it’s just who I am,’ Biden explained.

He said he’s never thought of politics as ‘cold and antiseptic.’

‘Now, it is all about taking selfies together. Social norms begin to change and they’ve shifted and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been re-set and I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying,’ he said.

The former vice president vowed to be more ‘mindful and respectful’ going forward.

‘I understand it. And I’ll be much more mindful. That is my responsibility. My responsibility and I’ll meet it. But I’ll always believe governing, quite frankly, and life for that matter is about connecting, about connecting with people. That won’t change. I will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space and that is a good thing. That is a good thing,’ he noted.

He concluded by addressing his history as an advocate for women.

‘I worked my life empower women. I worked my whole life to prevent abuse. So the idea that I can’t adjust to the fact the personal space is important – more important than it’s ever been, is just not true. I will. I will,’ he said.

That might make sense if he is accused of doing things early in his career, in the 1970s or 1980s or even 1990s. But the incidents on video and off-video all are fairly recent, during his time as Vice President, within the past 10 years. In some cases, such as the shoulder rubbing of Stephanie Carter, and the nuzzling of Chris Coons’ daughter, we’re talking about 2015.

This reminds me of the George Costanza defense:

“Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I’ve got to plead Ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, because I’ve worked in a lot of offices, and people do that all the time.”

BONUS QUESTION: WILL HE RUN FOR PRESIDENT?

 
 
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