Ad­vance man ‘hon­ored’ to shake Bi­den’s hand in Kenosha de­spite Trump’s barb

Chicago Sun-Times - - NEWS - MICHAEL SNEED msneed@sun­times.com | @sneedlings

Trump’s troll roll . . .

The Trump­ster, a germa­phobe who shuns hand­shakes, tried to torch his neme­sis, Joe Bi­den, Thurs­day with Twit­ter ack-ack.

He did so by tweak­ing Bi­den’s ad­vance man, Brian Mc­Partlin, the son of the late Illi­nois la­bor leg­end Geral­dine “Jerre” Mc­Partlin.

Trump ac­cused “Joe Hi­den,” a masked prac­ti­tioner of COVID-19 sci­ence, of get­ting off his air­plane in Mil­wau­kee and shak­ing hands with Mc­Partlin sans glove.

Trump de­scribed Mc­Partlin as look­ing “stunned” by Bi­den’s glove­less hand.

But Mc­Partlin tells Sneed: “I wasn’t star­tled.”

Mc­Partlin, who lives in Chicago, was there to greet Bi­den af­ter his plane touched down in Mil­wau­kee en route to visit Kenosha po­lice shoot­ing vic­tim Ja­cob Blake and his fam­ily. Bi­den also spoke at a Kenosha church and made sev­eral other stops in one of his only cam­paign stops since the out­break of COVID-19 across the coun­try.

“I was hon­ored. I con­sider Joe Bi­den fam­ily,” he said.

Then Mc­Partlin tossed a brick at Trump.

“How did he know I was stunned? We both had masks on,” Mc­Partlin said of him­self and the for­mer vice pres­i­dent.

That’s in stark con­trast to Trump, who spent hours vis­it­ing Kenosha ear­lier in the week with­out a mask — as did many of the 1,500 who sat on the White House lawn to hear the pres­i­dent’s speech on the last night of the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion the week be­fore.

And, Mc­Partlin added, he had taken an added safety step: “I had got­ten tested for COVID at least 24 hours ear­lier!”

It was neg­a­tive.

Mc­Partlin also de­nied Trump’s claim there was no en­thu­si­asm for Bi­den’s visit. That was par­tic­u­larly true dur­ing a back­yard meet­ing with ed­u­ca­tors in Wauwatosa, a sub­urb of Mil­wau­kee.

A cou­ple of hun­dred peo­ple “came out cheer­ing,” Mc­Partlin re­called. The crowd was so­cial dis­tanc­ing — and there were no hand­shakes.

“It was amaz­ing the amount of peo­ple that hud­dled out­side the meet­ing, just want­ing to see Bi­den and say some­thing to him,” Mc­Partlin said.

“There was great warmth and great in­ter­est. All in all, ev­ery­body seemed very pleased.”

Mc­Partlin, who will re­main on the road with Bi­den for his up­com­ing cam­paign stops in swing states, said he has known Bi­den and his fam­ily for years and “adores him.”

Be­sides both be­ing Democrats, the two have many things in com­mon.

For ex­am­ple?

They have the same fa­vorite fla­vor of ice cream: vanilla.

ALEX WONG/GETTY IM­AGES

Brian Mc­Partlin (mid­dle) shakes hands with Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nominee Joe Bi­den on Thurs­day at Gen­eral Mitchell In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Mil­wau­kee. Bi­den’s wife, Jill, is at left.

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