The appointment of a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden was met with relatively little concern among President Biden and his party. While the criminal inquiry into the president’s son may pose risks during an election year, many Democrats believe there are more pressing issues at hand, such as Biden’s age, low approval ratings, and the public’s lack of confidence in the economy’s improvement.
Democrats have adopted a “what-aboutism” approach, pointing to the criminal indictments against the GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, as evidence that Biden’s son’s legal troubles are less significant. Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland argued that it is unlikely anyone concerned about political corruption would turn to Trump for a solution.
Democrats remain calm about the appointment of David C. Weiss as a special counsel, despite his ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s business and personal life. Polling suggests that swing voters are largely unaffected by the controversies surrounding Hunter Biden. Recent elections have shown that issues like abortion rights are driving Democratic victories, and Democrats believe that the misdeeds of family members do not harm presidential candidates.
The White House, Biden’s campaign, and the Democratic National Committee chose not to comment on the special counsel’s appointment. The Biden campaign even canceled a scheduled appearance to avoid questions about Hunter Biden. Polling conducted by Matt Barreto has not shown any significant concern about Hunter Biden’s legal troubles, as most Americans are focused on economic improvement.
It remains uncertain how much a trial involving Hunter Biden would damage his father’s presidential campaign. While it could serve as a distraction, there is no legitimate suggestion that President Biden himself engaged in wrongdoing. Republican consultant Sarah Longwell found that swing voters were more empathetic towards Hunter Biden, seeing his troubles as personal rather than applicable to the president.
Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota is one of the few Democrats expressing concern that the Hunter Biden issue could harm the party’s electoral prospects. He has called for an intraparty challenge to President Biden. However, most Democrats believe that voters are more focused on other issues and do not see Hunter Biden as a threat.
Knowing that President Biden has already defeated Trump once is reassuring to many Democrats. The party has experienced successes in recent national elections, which has alleviated much of the stress that followed Trump’s victory in 2016. Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia does not see any cause for anxiety over Hunter Biden’s potential impact on the 2024 campaign.