One infant seemed noticeably upset as President Joe Biden leaned over to pet her and nuzzle her head, and the President got a little too near for comfort.
While leaving Finland, where he had attended the third Nordic Summit to reaffirm the region’s commitment to assist Ukraine in its continuing fight with Russia, President Biden was greeting supporters during the unusual interaction. The president, on his way to Air Force One, paused for a moment to greet a mother and her blond baby, blowing raspberries into the infant’s back in a creepy manner as the child hid her face and shied away from the elderly man.
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In the 2020 race, former President Donald Trump’s campaign made public Biden’s habit of sniffing other people’s hair. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) recently attacked the president for his reputation for “sniffing little girls’ hair,” while he dug himself in further by saying, “She was 17, I was 4” in answer to questions about his relationship with actress Eva Longoria at a public event.
According to Tara Reade, a former member of Biden’s staff from his time in the United States Senate, the uncomfortable encounters often crossed the line into outright sexual harassment. Reade, who just moved to Russia, expressed disappointment in the media for dismissing allegations against the president that he strongly denies and that Congress has not yet taken up.
President Biden is losing ground to President Trump in head-to-head polls among key groups, and this trend may be at least partially attributable to the onslaught of “creepy uncle” interactions. Former supporter and celebrity Stephan A. Smith made the observation earlier this year that the majority of Americans do not want the president to run for a second term and believe he is too elderly to serve. Suburban women are caught between President Biden and his awkward interactions and an alternative who could offer the calm, steady presence that would draw the generally Democrat-voting chunk away from him, so their votes could determine whether or not he succeeds in next year’s election.