One criticism I have heard leveled against Donald Trump by his detractors is that he’s “not nice.” They will tell you they long for the return of a president who respects boundaries, who is empathic. A man like Joe Biden.
No doubt, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper recalls the time he was the recipient of Biden’s “kinder and gentler” side. It was 2019 and the two men were at a CNN town hall in Los Angeles when Biden took his host, who is gay, on a trip down memory lane:
The point is they [gays] are not afraid now to stand up and say, because guess what? We learn. Our brothers, our sisters, our — the girl we went out with in high school, the guy you know, no, I’m serious. Think about it. The idea it’s normal. It’s normalized. It’s not anything strange. It’s not strange. That’s the generic point. And the more people know that, the more they understand it. Remember, Anderson, back 15, 20 years ago we talked about this in San Francisco was all about, well, gay bath houses. It’s all about around the clock sex. Come on, man. Gay couples are more likely to say together longer than heterosexual couples.
Cooper abruptly ended the interview, saying, “We’re going to leave it there, Mr. Vice President. Thank you very much.”
This isn’t the first time Biden attempted to assure homosexuals that they’ve come a long way. Last year he spoke at a Pride weekend fundraiser in Seattle held at the home of public relations executive and gay rights activist Roger Nyhus. Again, Biden reminded those assembled of how far the country has come in recognizing the rights of the LGBT community. “Just five years ago,” he said by way of illustration, “it would have been acceptable for a businessman to make ‘fun of a gay waiter.'” Rather than the nostalgic, good-natured laugh the former vice president expected all in attendance would share, there was an ice-cold silence punctuated by one of the guests’ calling out “Not in Seattle!”