Does Biden’s name hide controversy?

Dillan Schorfheide, Sports Editor

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Irony sure is funny, right?

Everyone (and rightfully so) ripped then presidential candidate Donald Trump a new you-know-what when audio was released, revealing him saying to grab women by their you-know-what.

Trump has had a slew of other actions and words that could have and, some, should have possibly deemed him an unsuitable candidate for the Oval Office.

What Trump said then I would say is worse than what I am about to bring up, but I think the after-effects are similar and intriguing to compare.

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers conference in April, and made a joke that I would consider, to say the least, is in bad taste.

He introduced the union’s president on stage, hugged him and made the joke that he had permission to hug him. If you did not know, that joke is in reference to then-allegations that Biden had given women unwelcomed hugs, kisses and other physically intimate expressions.

Media outlets, including The New York Times, reported on the joke, of course, but from what I remember, no real conversations about the joke followed.

No people were upset by it on Twitter, and if I brought it up to people, most of them just kind of said, “Oh.” Nothing more.

Why am I referring to this topic that happened over two months ago?

Because Biden is leading current polls for the favorites of the 2020 election.

Vox reported that Biden has a lead at 31.5 percent for the 2020 democratic presidential nomination, 15.7 points higher than second place (Bernie Sanders).

So, the irony: Trump still gathered a lot of support despite a controversial statement.

There are a couple side notes.

Firstly, Biden’s comment was a joke, while Trump presumably meant what he said. Secondly, the scale of actions Biden committed versus the actions Trump has committed are on different levels, while both are serious matters to discuss and consider.

But I think an interesting thing to consider is the weight of the names of these two men.

Both have/had big names during their respective campaigns.

But Biden has more weight because he was Barack Obama’s right-hand man. A lot of people want more years of Obama, and think they will get that with Biden.

So, are people willing to let a “harmless” joke slide by?

We already saw that plenty of Trump supporters were willing to let serious talk slide by.

Is there more to look into with Biden?

Maybe not, but I think a real conversation can be had about what we are willing to let go for our own personal gain; in this case, it’s about what we are willing to let slide from our candidates.

It could very well be that people brushed this off because it is Biden and they believe he can do no wrong, since he was part of the best terms ever under Obama.

The opposite side of the coin, ironically, shows this playing out too, but for what a lot of people consider the worst presidency ever (Trump’s).

If I had to guess, I do not think we will hear about any more issues with Biden and inappropriate sexual behavior.

But if we do, will his name and Obama’s name be enough to throw it to the wind?

It was with Trump, and he won. And he is still in power. There is a fine line voters will be walking with this scenario and possibly future ones, so keep that in mind.

Dillan Schorfheide is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].