Joe Biden still needs to reckon with this question

“So it’s on to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and well beyond,” Biden told his supporters in Iowa. He added that he was “in this for the long haul.”

Which, given Biden’s establishment support, strength among non-white voters and the seeming muddle coming out of Iowa, looks likely at this point.

But, if Biden is going to do the distance, he showed earlier on Monday that he still has work to do in answering why his son, Hunter, had a well-paying gig on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company.

Appearing on the “Today” show Monday, Biden got testy with host Savannah Guthrie who pushed him on Hunter Biden. Here’s the exchange (bolding mine):

Guthrie: “Has it occurred to you that there’s a certain irony here that the President is accused of and has acknowledged wanting to get information about your son Hunter and his dealings with Ukraine and this process of impeachment has ensured that everyone knows about Hunter’s dealings with Ukraine?”

Biden: “That’s a good thing, and no one has found anything wrong with his dealings in Ukraine except they say it sets a bad image?”

Guthrie: “Do you agree that it sets a bad image?”

Biden: “Yeah and my son said that.”

Guthrie: “Do you think it was wrong for him to take that position knowing that it was really because that company wanted access to you?”

Biden: “Well, that’s not true. You’re saying things you do not know what you’re talking about. No one said that. Who said that? Who said that?”

Guthrie: “Well, don’t you think it’s just one of those things where people think, ‘Well, that seems kind of sleazy. Why would he have that job if not for who his father was?'”

Biden: “Because he’s a very bright guy.”

Guthrie: “I guess the question I’m kind of asking is, was it right?”

Biden: “Appearance. Yeah. Well, he said he regretted having done it. Speak for himself. He’s a grown man.”

Now, if Joe Biden winds up as the Democratic nominee against President Donald Trump, he’s going to get a whole lot of questions about Hunter’s role on the board of Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president.
“I will tell you, I sort of hope it’s Joe, because he will hear ‘Where’s Hunter?’ every single debate, nine times a debate,” Trump promised at a campaign rally last month.
Here’s the thing: Trump and his allies have repeatedly made unfounded and false claims to allege that the Bidens acted corruptly in Ukraine.

But here’s what is also true: There is very little evidence to suggest that Hunter Biden was qualified for a high-paying board seat for a Ukrainian natural gas company. His prime qualification for that gig appears to be that his last name was “Biden.”

Joe Biden has to understand that. He’s been around politics long enough to get why that looks bad. Something he did acknowledge but grew testy after being pushed on it. (And, yes, lots of people get seats on boards because of their last name. But not all of these people are the Democratic presidential front-runner’s son.)

To get angry at the question and/or insist it’s misininformed is to not get that, for the average voter, the whole Hunter-Biden-on-the-board thing just looks bad.

The Point: Biden has pledged he is in the race all the way until the end. He should spend some of that time coming up with a better answer on his son’s board seat.

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