Photo: Getty

The speed with which the stories of Biden’s inappropriate touching of women—and, I cannot stress this enough, hair smelling—came and went was depressing. He issued a non-apology, made jokes about it on stage, and everyone decided that it was fine.

That’s just Joe; he’s just tactile, it’s because he’s actually a very good and empathetic person. It’s a well-known fact that part of being a warm and friendly person is smelling a woman’s hair. Taking a big whiff of hair is how he understands their pain.

Despite his relative lack of contrition on the issue, though, Politico reports that Biden has made a real stellar effort in the past few weeks not to do any more weird or creepy touching on camera:

But after nearly a week on the campaign trail, including nearly a half-dozen events in Pittsburgh, Iowa and South Carolina, it appears Biden got the message. Gone are the episodes of canoodling with voters, replaced by a less tactile brand of retail politicking marked by selfies and more physical reserve than Biden is accustomed to.

According to Politico, Biden’s advisers actually “huddled with him to underscore the need to adjust his habits and the need to tell the public that he would be more respectful of people’s personal space.”

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Lucky for them, it sounds like he’s learned his lesson. At one campaign event, the site reported, “Biden gingerly moved through the crowd, again and again taking a cell phone into one hand, holding it high for a photo, while his other hand rested at his side.”

We can at least be thankful that Biden isn’t deploying the hover hand yet.

I have to issue a special commendation for the quote provided to Politico by a Democratic strategist, who seems to have been called up to offer the Savvy Campaign Take on the shift in Biden’s conduct and ended up sounding like an alien trying to approximate human speech:

“I think part of his evolving as a candidate is making an adjustment, if something’s not working you go for another play,” Antjuan Seawright, a South Carolina-based Democratic strategist who worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 and is not aligned with a candidate. “It’s growth. You know something is wrong and it didn’t work that way so you just make adjustments and you do it differently. There’s still a way to do retail and not be inappropriate.”

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Bzzt blorp, TouchingWomen.exe has crashed; Voters.exe is not responding. Another play required. Try installing the Respect Women update.