Among most Democrats, former Vice President Joe Biden holds a semi-respected position, having been relatively untouched personally by scandal during the administration of President Barack Obama, except for the troubles caused by his notoriously loose lips. Biden memorably committed gaffes in 2010 when a hot mic picked up his comment to the president that Obamacare was “a big f***ing deal” and in 2012 when he told a mixed-race crowd that the relaxing of regulations for Wall Street would put the audience “back in chains.”
But these faux pas pale in comparison to ex-President Obama’s repeated lies, obfuscations and misdirection as regards trade, the economy and foreign policy, which the country soundly rejected in the form of Hillary Clinton when it elected Donald Trump in 2016.
However, as the next presidential election slowly draws closer (candidates traditionally start throwing their hat in the ring roughly 18 months before Election Day), Biden’s name has surfaced as a potential contender from the party of the Left.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time Biden has tried to run for the nation’s highest office. Biden — who’s one of only 18 senators in history to have been elected at the precocious age of 30 — attempted presidential bids before in the elections of 1988 and 2008, only to quit in the primaries early on in both cases, the first time because of widely publicized speech plagiarism and the second for offending minority groups and not striking a chord with Iowa voters. In the latter case, then-presidential candidate Obama subsequently offered Biden the vice-presidential slot on the Democratic ticket, which Biden quickly accepted.
Like Obama, Biden served two terms in office that were fairly uneventful other than the few verbal blunders he committed. So notorious was Biden about these indiscretions that at various times, Obama left Biden out of meetings so that Biden wouldn’t accidentally repeat what was said in them to the press.
But while the country believes that Biden’s biggest liability may be his own mouth, it might want to cast its eyes on Biden’s closest relatives to get more of a hint of how things work in the ex-VP’s family.
Political watchers may remember that in May 2015, Biden lost his eldest son Beau (who happened to be Delaware’s Attorney General) to brain cancer — a sad moment for the Vice President and those who surrounded him. But one of those people was Biden’s other son Hunter, who this year admitted to an ongoing affair with Beau’s wife Hallie while she was grieving her husband’s death.
As if that weren’t enough, Hunter also admitted in his ongoing divorce case from his own wife Kathleen that since 2015, he had blown most of the couple’s money on prostitutes, drugs, alcohol and strippers. Kathleen also alleged that Hunter had sexual relations with other women besides the aforementioned prostitutes and his deceased brother’s wife and that he spent enormous sums of money on gifts for these women.
Hunter, a lawyer and ex-lobbyist, was discharged in 2014 from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for the drug cocaine. Kathleen has requested sole custody of the couple’s 16-year-old daughter as well as monthly support payments of $17,000 per month. She also claims the couple has double mortgages on their two homes, maxed-out credit cards and tax debts of at least $313,000.
These are serious charges for the son of a man who was a heartbeat away from stepping into the role of the nation’s commander-in-chief. It’s enough to make one wonder what the family values are of someone who campaigned on the fact that he was a single father for four years and a proud Catholic for 74.
Less well known, however, is that Biden’s father was a used-car salesman who lost his family’s savings and that Biden failed a class in law school due to plagiarism, graduating 76th out of 85 in his class. Biden has also been accused by members of the press and on social media of inappropriately placing his hands on young girls at more than one swearing-in ceremony (various YouTube clips of this exist), but these denunciations largely haven’t stuck.
Unfortunately for Biden, though, the business with his son is not the only untoward incident members of his family have been accused of. In 2013, Biden’s niece Caroline was charged in New York City with assaulting a police officer, harassing her roommate and obstructing justice.
At the time of her arrest, Caroline — the daughter of Biden’s financier brother James, Sr. — loudly protested at her arresting officer, claiming, “I shouldn’t be handcuffed! You don’t know who you’re doing this to!” Later, at the local police precinct, Caroline desperately tried to escape custody and had to be forced back into confinement.
Like Hunter Biden, Caroline has an extensive history of drug and alcohol abuse. She was allowed to avoid jail for the 2013 incidents by agreeing to go to an upscale drug rehabilitation clinic in Florida, where it was said she worked on “anger management issues.” The facility reportedly featured two pools, an executive chef and daily housekeeping service; it was Caroline’s second stay in rehab. “The pressure of being Joe Biden’s niece made her totally unravel,” claimed family friend Paul Johnson Calderon in the New York Post. “It’s a desire for attention, a cry for help. She’s a very complicated girl who has a lot of feelings and a lot of issues.”
Unfortunately, these issues seem not to have been resolved. Earlier this month, 30-year-old Caroline was back in court in New York, pleading guilty to stealing at least $110,000 as part of a credit card scam. Caroline had borrowed a card from an acquaintance and told the person she was going to make a $672 purchase. But instead, she opened an account at a nearby pharmacy and spent a whopping six figures between April 2015 and June 2016.
She was charged this month with both grand and petit larceny. As with her previous incident, Caroline has been allowed to bypass jail — if she pays back the amount she owes and agrees to two years’ probation. But even if she doesn’t pay the debt, the sentence she’ll receive will be merely five years’ probation — courtesy of her family’s high-priced lawyers who were called to work on the case.
Although these events have surely besmirched the already-suspect prospects of Joe Biden for 2020, they may well be forgiven and forgotten by the time 2018 rolls around — that’s provided that any new incidents don’t rear their ugly heads. For Biden, he can ill-afford more negative attention in the media, either due to his family or himself.