The Daily / New York Times (7/3/19)
As a senator he opposed busing and championed laws that transformed the criminal justice system. Now as a presdiental candidate, he faces renewed scrutiny over the legacy of those decisions.
Could Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?
By Adam Entous
The New Yorker (7/1/19)
In today’s political culture, people running for President may announce their candidacy on the steps of their home-town city hall or on “The View,” but the full introduction comes with their book. Some candidates’ memoirs tell stories of humble beginnings and of obstacles overcome; some describe searches for identity; some earnestly set out detailed policy agendas. Nearly all are relentlessly bland. In 2017, Joe Biden, a longtime senator from Delaware, Barack Obama’s Vice-President for eight years, and now a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, published an unusually raw memoir about the death, two years earlier, of his forty-six-year-old son, Beau, describing how it had threatened to undo him but ultimately brought his family closer. Beau, his father writes, was “Joe Biden 2.0,” a war veteran, a prosecutor, and a promising politician who “had all the best of me, but with the bugs and flaws engineered out.”
Joe Biden’s son is under scrutiny for his business dealings and tumultuous personal life.
In the early months of the 2020 race, Joe Biden holds a lead over his many Democratic Party rivals, but he is hardly invulnerable. He is seventy-six and sometimes shows it. He often stumbles when defending his five-decade public history. Some voters will not easily overlook his support for the Iraq War, his treatment of Anita Hill and loose management of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, his handsy, close-talking behavior with women, or his descriptions of his “civil” working relationships with segregationist lawmakers. Even his admirers concede that he is prone to senatorial bloviation. What often seems to redeem him with voters, as a former senior White House aide put it recently, is “how he’s responded to tragedy and what he’s learned from it.”
Only part of the story
Yet the family story that Biden tells in “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose” largely glosses over a central character in Biden’s life. Biden writes, “I was pretty sure Beau could run for President some day, and, with his brother’s help, he could win.” Hunter Biden, who is forty-nine, is described as a supportive son and sibling. In speeches, Biden rarely talks about Hunter. But news outlets on the right and mainstream media organizations, including the Times, have homed in on him, reprising old controversies over Hunter’s work for a bank, for a lobbying firm, and for a hedge fund, and scrutinizing his business dealings in China and Ukraine….