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Not forgotten, just forsaken

President Biden deliberately miscounts his grandchildren

Christmas stockings for President Biden's six acknowledged grandchildren decorate a fireplace in the White House in November 2022. Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA via AP Images

Not forgotten, just forsaken

The conventional political wisdom is that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election just by presenting himself as a portrait of normal politics running against a political freak show. At this point, with President Biden running for reelection, we now know that Biden, for all his famed Irish geniality, is running a freak show of his own.

In this show, President Biden is not the main villain—his son Hunter is—but the president’s artificial self is showing badly. And that’s an understatement.

What can’t be overstated is the joy of being a grandfather. But long before I knew that unspeakable joy I knew the unearned security of knowing my own two grandfathers. They lived in the same small town in central Florida where my mom and dad had been born and raised. By the time I came along, both were old men. But, as is the way with men, they never stopped working. One had an orange grove and the other had a farm, and I was happy as a clam to be with either of them. One was more the quiet type, but he was always ready to show me how to cut a sugar cane stalk or make tomato stakes into an airplane. He tried to hide his fading eyesight due to cataracts, and when we drove around in his big Ford we played a game in which I told him what color the traffic light was. When my mom heard about the “game,” she was not amused. He was solid in his love for me and I was secure in my place in his world. It was my world.

My other grandfather loomed even larger in my life. My dad’s dad retired from working in the phosphate mines and spent most of his energies in his orange grove. His body was failing and mine was growing. We were a duo, and he was the brains of the outfit. He let me drive his Chevy pickup in the grove from age 13 on. He tried to talk me through getting his big International Harvester tractor out of the shed, since he could no longer climb up into the seat. My inability to get the transmission out of reverse explains why the shed’s back wall went suddenly missing. I turned the tractor off, heart pounding, and found him gasping for air. I assured him I was OK and I feared he was angry about the shed. Then I saw that he was gasping for air because he was laughing so hard. Once he regained his ability to speak, he stated the obvious: “This stays between us, you hear.” My father was a rock, but so were my grandfathers.

She is his granddaughter and he has never met her, or even acknowledged that she exists.

I miss them both, every single day, even as I miss my beloved parents and so many loved ones now dead. Now I am a grandfather, and I know that the joy of being a grandson was only a hint of the future joy of having grandchildren. Mary and I are getting ready for them all to visit soon. We love them so much that it might be obsessive. At least it’s an honest obsession.

That brings me to a 4-year-old little girl in Arkansas. Her grandfather is the president of the United States. She has never met him. The president’s infamous son, Hunter Biden, is the girl’s father, but he acknowledged that fact only after a DNA test proved his paternity. She has never met her father, either. Hunter Biden recently reached some settlement with the girl’s mother that involves—you would not make this up— turning over some of his paintings and that she will not bear the Biden name. According to The New York Times, “The girl is aware that her father is Hunter Biden and that her paternal grandfather is the president of the United States. She speaks about both of them often, but she has not met them.”

The Times also reports that the president refuses to acknowledge even that he has seven, not six grandchildren. She is his granddaughter but he has never met her or even acknowledged that she exists. There she is in Arkansas, “learning to ride a camouflage-patterned four-wheeler alongside her cousins.” She has visited Washington, D.C., but not the White House.

Some Democratic strategists argue that the girl is being used by the president’s political enemies. It might be true, but it is hard to imagine how the president could do better, even in crass political terms, than acknowledge this little girl as his own grandchild and dare anyone to say she is not beautiful, she is not precious, and she is not his.

Just writing this piece has torn me up. It makes me want to hug my grandfathers just one more time. It also makes me mad enough to want to knock the back out of the shed again. What kind of horrible person would refuse even to acknowledge his grandchild, to hold her in his arms, and welcome her into his world with joy?

R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Albert Mohler is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College and editor of WORLD Opinions. He is also the host of The Briefing and Thinking in Public. He is the author of several books, including The Gathering Storm: Secularism, Culture, and the Church. He is the seminary’s Centennial Professor of Christian Thought and a minister, having served as pastor and staff minister of several Southern Baptist churches.

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