Dec. 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM ET
The gregarious vice president known for going off script is now getting attention for acting a little too jolly at his annual holiday party.
In a light-hearted photograph taken with The Hill’s White House correspondent Amie Parnes, Vice President Joe Biden can be seen with his hands high on the reporter’s waist — and Parnes with her hands firmly on top of Biden’s.
The photo was lifted off Parnes' Facebook page, and some outlets questioned whether Parnes was trying to block Biden’s hands from moving any further.
The photo also includes the vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, and Chris Donovan, a producer for NBC’s Meet the Press. Everyone in the picture is wearing a huge grin.
Biden and his wife pose every year with more than a hundred reporters, staff and other attendees of the annual holiday party he hosts at the official vice presidential home at the Naval Observatory.
TODAY anchors took turns defending Biden while debating the photo on Tuesday.
“He’s a gregarious guy. It doesn’t seem all that inappropriate to me but I don’t know what the moment was,” said Matt Lauer.
Natalie Morales said the photo illustrates what a “very engaging, sweet person” the vice president is, while Savannah Guthrie said it shows everyone “just having a good time.”
Tamron Hall acknowledged that sometimes men can act a little too affectionate in photos, but she reminded everyone about a key element in the photo: Biden’s wife is in it.
“She’s in arm’s reach,” Hall said.