Joe Biden praises Bob Packwood at Democrat women's conference

biden wlfJoe Biden has had a tough week. Earlier in the week he used the anti-Semitic slur “Shylock” to refer to unethical bankers and was forced to issue an apology. Today he was speaking at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership forum and decided to wax nostalgic about how the Republican party used to be:

According to attendees, Biden singled out former Sen. Bob Packwood of Oregon as the sort of Republican who used to be reasonable on issues like expanding voter access. Packwood was reportedly accused by 10 women of unwanted sexual harassment and ultimately resigned in 1995.

“It was Republicans that were involved,” Biden said in a speech at a DNC Women’s Leadership Forum breakfast. “Guys like [former Maryland Sen.] Mac Mathias and Packwood and so many others. It wasn’t Democrats alone. Republicans were the sponsors of the raises of the minimum wage. I could go on and on. I’m not joking: This is not your father’s Republican Party, or your mother’s Republican Party.”

For the children out there, Oregon Senator Bob Packwood shared the libido and appetites of Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd but lacked their style and panache:

While running for reelection in 1980, Bob Packwood was eager to meet his campaign chairwoman for Lane County, Ore. The Senator invited Gena Hutton to dinner at the motel where he was staying in Eugene for a get-acquainted meeting. Hutton, a 35-year-old divorced mother of two, had brought along pictures of her children and even her cats.

Then it was time to go and Packwood offered to walk her to her car. “As I started to put the key in the car door,” Hutton recalls, “he just reeled me around and grabbed me andpulled me close to him.” For an instant, she thought he was offering a good-night hug. But then the Senator planted a full kiss on her lips, wriggling his tongue into her mouth.

Unfortunately for him, he was a Republican and was forced to resign in 1995.

Unlike the Shylock episode (or the Indian Dunkin Donuts owner or the guy in the wheelchair who wouldn’t stand up or… there are so many to choose from) this one may have legs:

Why this gaffe when his decades of over-achievement have been ignored. Biden fancies himself running for president in 2016 and Hillary! The Smartest Woman In The World® thinks she has already been coronated:

Political allies of Vice President Joe Biden have concluded that he can win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination—even if Hillary Clinton enters the contest—and are considering steps he could take to prepare for a potential candidacy.

While Mr. Biden has made no decision about his future, people familiar with his thinking say, he hasn’t ruled out a bid for the White House. If he runs, that could set up a titanic battle between two of the party’s most prominent figures.

On balance, though, a Biden presidency wouldn’t be any more scary or dangerous than an Obama or Clinton one and it would be a helluva lot more fun.