Hunter Biden scarfs up a lucrative book deal
Joe Biden's family and associates are back in business, making money off the family name. Sure, Biden reportedly admonished his brother to "watch yourself," but that didn't stop brother Frank getting busy advertising his ties to Joe in an ad for a Florida law firm on the day Joe was sworn in. Son Hunter reportedly never divested himself of his China holdings as had been leaked earlier. On the Kamala Harris side of things, stepdaughter Ella got a lucrative modeling contract, and niece Maya got herself a book deal and clothing range.
Now son Hunter has got himself a lucrative book deal, too, worth, as the Daily Mail reports, up to $2 million, about his dissolute life. The White House dismisses it as a nothingburger since it's a book about a "personal struggle." But as Hunter said of his lucrative board seat on Ukrainian energy company Burisma, it's a fair guess to say it "probably" would not have happened had his name not been "Biden."
The book's title is Beautiful Things, and in this case, unlike Ukrainian energy, he actually writes about something he knows about, which is his life of addiction and drugs.
So much for Old Joe's promise to voters that none of his family would cash in from his public office. They're finding a hundred ways to Sunday to get their slices. Life's beautiful when you're one way or another related to Old Joe.
An intelligent person might ask if there's anything illegal about this. In this case, probably not.
While in some cases of political book deals, fronting cash for a book is a classic dodge for bribery, in this case, it's probably not. It doesn't resemble the $65-million book deal President Obama got in his post-presidency from a publisher that he gave a huge Common Core contract to, creating at least the appearance of impropriety, as I wrote about here. That practice seems to have come from Russia, and typically happens when it's a dud book and someone is there waiting for publication to buy up the copies.
In Hunter's case, assuming he delivers the full tell-all, there likely will be buyers. The book (like the modeling contract handed out to Kamala Harris's art-student stepdaughter), is actually likely to sell.
Heck, I'd buy it. Who wouldn't want to read about a guy with a history like this, as the Daily Mail summed it?
Who else would have left his wife and jumped into bed with his recently departed brother's widow only for her to end the affair when he got a stripper pregnant?
Is it only Hunter who could have received two special waivers to join the military and be commissioned at a special ceremony in the White House, but then blow his chance on his very first day when a blood test came back positive for cocaine?
Who but Hunter who could receive a diamond from a would-be Chinese business partner whose existence would come to light in divorce papers?
Now the president's son is getting to tell his side of his unsavory life — warts and all — in a book that could embarrass his father even further, less than three months into his term in the Oval Office.
Beautiful Things — the as yet unexplained title of Biden's tome — promises to center on his well-publicized struggles with substance abuse according to Gallery Books, an imprint of publishers Simon & Schuster.
New York Post columnist Kyle Smith has a hilarious speculative satire about what might just be in it.
The Mail makes the mistaken assumption, though, that the book deal would undoubtedly embarrass Old Joe.
That's unlikely, given that this kind of activity has gone on around Old Joe for years — cashing out, growing rich in public office, and a back-beat of decadent behavior. Just read the books of Peter Schweizer.
Could Joe really be embarrassed about what Hunter writes, given the other stuff out there? There are Hunter's laptop pictures, showing Biden fils naked with his crack pipe and, reportedly, underage-looking girls. That's about as embarrassing as it gets. Old Joe has reportedly been fond of swimming naked for the Secret Service agents and is famously known for his groping, so the truth is, he don't embarrass easy.
Most likely, it's public relations, a bid to create a fall-and-redemption narrative, and clean up Hunter's skeezy public image. Hunter, instead of the greedy junior making a living on Dad's coattails that witnesses have described, will now be a sympathetic public figure, whose only aim is, as the White House has said, to help others.
The backstory to this is that Hunter is facing federal investigations for tax evasion, money-laundering, and other Wall Street–style rich-man white-collar crime. A book to clean him up and claim he's changed and reformed and been redeemed ought to be just the thing to ensure that either federal investigators back off, given that they don't want to go after such a reformed and "beloved" and "sexy" (as Lena Dunham has put out) public figure, or at a minimum, lay the groundwork for Joe to pardon him. Redemption, rather than hookers and crack pipes, is now the new narrative for Hunter.
And just coincidentally, it also pays a lot.
It's most likely a buildup, a public relations move, Oprah-style, with sin and redemption, and a presumption that the public will eat it up. Nice work if you can get it.