Radio Atlantic: Sex, Gender, and the Democratic Party

Does the conversation about Joe Biden’s “handsiness” show how much Democrats have changed in the past two decades—or how little?

Subscribe to Radio Atlantic: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play

In recent days, three women have accused former Vice President Joe Biden of inappropriate contact. On Wednesday, Biden announced in a video that he is going to be “mindful” about personal space moving forward, that he hears what these women are saying, and that he “gets it.”

While a number of prominent women have come to Biden’s defense, plenty of critics have said that he has no place representing a diverse, empowered, progressive electorate in the coming presidential race. When it comes to gender, have the politics of the Democratic Party passed Biden by? What happens now to the Biden proto-candidacy, and what does it mean for the Democratic Party of 2020?

Alex Wagner sits down with Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and for Barack Obama’s White House from 2013 to 2015.

Listen for:

  • Palmieri’s reflections on Bill Clinton’s White House, where Monica Lewinsky was her intern

  • Why John Edwards—whom she advised through the fallout of his extramarital affair—saw his political career die, but Clinton’s survive

  • Why the discussions of Biden’s behavior show what’s improved in how Americans talk about sex and gender in politics