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Beautiful Things Review: Hunter Biden as Prodigal Son and Trumpist Target | American Politics




Robert Hunter Biden is not a rock star. Instead, the only surviving son of Senator Joe Biden, Vice President, President is a lawyer by training and a prince by chance. Either way, life on the edge has consequences.

As Hunter Biden reluctantly acknowledges in his memoir, comparisons to Billy Carter, Roger Clinton, or the Trump Boys, appendages to power that sought to capitalize on closeness, may be appropriate. Indeed, Biden cops to the possibility that his name may have had something to do with his liquidation on third base without hitting a triple.

I’m not a curiosity or a side-show at one point in history, he writes, defensively, channeling the mantra of those with parents in high places: I worked for someone other than my father, I got up and fell alone.

But Biden doesn’t just get off on his own. Instead, he announces: Having a Biden on the Burismas board was a loud and undeniable fuck with Putin. He protests too much.

The fact that Beautiful Things has been glossed over is that while his overseas business may have ended up in the midst of Donald Trump’s first indictment, it also embarrassed Barack Obamas’ White House. Faced with the foray of hunters into Ukraine and the energy sector, spokesman for the 44th president, Jay Carney, declined to express his support.

Hunter Biden and the rest of the Biden family are obviously private citizens, and their place of work does not reflect the approval of the administration or the vice president or president, Carney said in 2014.

Hunter has few filters. His craving for absolution is wired

Biden also describes his father’s relationship with the Obama mob as unequal to say the least. He points to David Axelrod, an Obama adviser who played against the odds of Joe Bidens in 2020, on CNN.

Hunter recounts the aftermath of a conversation between his father and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about Afghanistan: Goddamnit Axelrods entered his ear!

As for Clinton, Biden sidesteps the tension that existed between his father and the 2016 candidate. It wasn’t just about cheering on Clinton through Obama. At the time, Joe Biden was afraid to run against her.

In Chasing Hillary, written by Amy Chozick in 2018, Joe Biden is paraphrased as telling the press, unofficially: you don’t understand these people. The Clintons will try to destroy me. Hell doesn’t have a fury like a Clinton crusader.

Bidens’ younger book shows flashes of his understanding of power politics. But he also demonstrates a continued blind spot for his own predicament. Confession should not be confused with self-awareness.

Biden recounts a conversation with Kathleen, his first wife, after the 2015 funeral of his brother Beau. He goes so far as to think about running for office despite his multiple addictions, all now detailed in detail on the page, and the ups and downs of his marriage.

She replies: Are you serious?

That Biden even went there is more than confusing. Or as he puts it, I underestimated how much the rubble of my past and everything I did to my family still weighed on Kathleen.

This was before Biden began an affair with his late brother’s wife.

Hunter has few filters. His desire for absolution is hardwired.

Describing a series of interviews he gave New Yorkers Adam Entous, regarding Burisma, Ukraine and all that, he writes that he didn’t know how cathartic the experience would be. For good measure, he adds: it was for me the opportunity to tell everyone, this is who I am, motherfuckers, and I do not change!

Italics are his.

Through it all, Joe Biden is shown as a loving and caring father, like the father in the story of the prodigal son. Biden portrays his father’s efforts to intervene in his personal nightmare and the times he pushed aside such pleas. The Catholicism of the family is present throughout his book.

The empathy and emotion Joe Biden conveys on television is part of who he is. His own setbacks and suffering helped him elect him amid a terrible pandemic. Whatever the existing facade, it is thin and transparent.

That said, the president’s ability to forgive offenses against his sons makes recent stories of his low tolerance for past marijuana use among politicians appointees difficult to understand.

Joe Biden is greeted by his wife Jill and sons Beau, right, and Hunter, second from left, after his inauguration as vice president in 2009. Photograph: Paul J Richards / AFP / Getty Images

Beautiful Things is well written and fast paced. We know how and where the story ends. Hunter Biden seems to have found happiness in his second marriage. His father is now president.

Still, the son can’t hide his bitterness at being turned into a Trump campaign boy. The ex-president is a vile man with a vile mission who has sunk to unprecedented depths in his attempt to hold on to power. The January 6 uprising was vintage Trump. Charlottesville was the prelude.

Recent events offer Hunter Biden a measure of personal justification and schadenfreude. A National Intelligence Council (NIC) report estimated that he and his father had been targeted by Russia as part of the campaign to tip the election in favor of Trump.

According to the NIC, Moscow has used proxies linked to Russian intelligence services, including some close to former President Trump and his administration to promote accounts of influence, including misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden . Rudy Giuliani looks like a dupe of the Kremlin.

But it does not stop there. In December 2019, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz denigrated Hunter Biden for his drug addiction. It was an unlimited withdrawal, unleavened by Gaetz’s own history of drinking and driving.

Timing is everything. Biden reciprocates in his book, calling Gaetz a troll. On Tuesday evening, Gaetz admitted that he was the subject of a Justice Department investigation into sex with women and allegedly trafficked a 17-year-old girl.

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