Some days it’s with a text. On others, it’s a call, even just to leave a message.
President Joe Biden reaches out to his son Hunter regularly to check on him. And increasingly, those messages have taken on a fresh sense of urgency.
The younger Biden is facing new criminal charges and could soon be held in contempt of Congress after refusing to testify in a Republican-led hearing meant to impugn the reputations of both him and his father. Those closest to the president have grown more worried about the personal toll it is taking on the older man.
“I know when he hurts. He doesn’t talk about it much, most of us don’t,” said former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who has been friends with the elder Biden for more than four decades. “He has a real human decency, and a lot of it is created by scarring. And he’s worried.”
Joe Biden’s concern about his surviving son has only grown since he took office, according to aides and confidants — five in total — all of whom were granted anonymity to speak about private conversations.
The White House has long stressed that the president does not interfere in matters before the Justice Department. But privately, fears about the upcoming campaign and potential criminal trial have become an ever-present weight on the president, according to those close to him. The elder Biden has told friends he worries that his son could even backslide into addiction. [Continue reading…]
President Biden has the perfect reason to bow out of the presidential race: to come to the aid of his troubled son, Hunter, who was just indicted for tax evasion.
This would merge two realities. Since his wife and young daughter died in a car accident more than 50 years ago, Biden has been a caring and concerned father. And the 81-year-old incumbent is in real danger of losing the 2024 election to Donald Trump.
The speech he could give would be simple and sincere and could sound something like this:
“Folks, I deeply love this country and hoped to build on all our accomplishments, serving you for four more years. I also deeply love my son, who faces additional legal charges. While I am convinced that he is innocent, I want to be there for him. That would be almost impossible if, in addition to being president, I were engaged in what promises to be a vicious campaign.
“Therefore, I will not run for reelection.
“I would not take this step if I weren’t convinced that we have many talented candidates who will defeat Donald Trump, an existential threat to our American way of life.
“There still are many challenges, foreign and domestic, that we are meeting. The added burden of an ugly presidential campaign — which I have no doubt I would have won, as in 2020 — would make it impossible to devote the attention my family needs from me at this time.” [Continue reading…]