There’s a fine line between endearing and creepy, and Vice President Biden always seems to be teetering on that edge. This past week, he tumbled over — face first.
The setting: the swearing-in ceremony of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. The players: Biden and Stephanie Carter, the new secretary’s wife. The scene: Cameras caught Biden with his hands on Mrs. Carter’s shoulders while whispering in her ear. She looked less than pleased to have the vice presidential nose in her hair.
The tableau made Biden look more lascivious than lovable, more creepy than convivial. Writing this episode off as “Biden being Biden” — the explanation in political circles for the often-outlandish things the vice president says and does — was clearly out of the question.
Conservatives quickly condemned Biden’s behavior and insisted that the media has a double standard for how it covers the second-most-powerful politician in the country. “The only reason Joe Biden gets away with getting handsy with women is because he has a (D) after his name,” Karol Markowicz wrote in an op-ed on Time.com.
That was far from the only thing that went wrong for Biden this past week. There was also his comment at a White House summit on violent extremism that Wilmington, Del., has a large Somali population and “an awful lot of them [are] driving cabs.” Perhaps all this explains why a CBS News poll released Wednesday showed that 35 percent of Democrats would not consider voting for Biden for president in 2016.
Vice President Biden, for forgetting that “Mad Men” is a TV show, not a guide for modern workplace conduct, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Each week, Chris Cillizza awards the worst week in Washington to an inhabitant of Planet Beltway who stands out for all the wrong reasons. You can check out previous winners or e-mail Cillizza with candidates. You can also read more from Outlook and follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter.