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The seventh Biden grandchild

We should welcome all children, not just the picture-perfect ones

Naomi Biden's wedding on the South Lawn of the White House Associated Press/Photo by Carolyn Kaster

The seventh Biden grandchild
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When Joe Biden’s granddaughter Naomi recently got married at the White House, it was a chance for the press to do some harmless, if superficial, stories on the president’s family. Yet, in all the coverage of Biden’s family, one detail stands out. Politico’s story on the wedding informed us that Naomi was the first of their six grandchildren to marry. NBC News reported “the president and first lady planned to issue a statement and release photos after the first of their six grandchildren tied the knot.” Business Insider used the occasion to run a short profile of the presidential grandkids headlined, “Meet his 6 grandchildren, whom he calls every day.”

The truth, which no one seems to acknowledge, is that Biden has seven grandchildren.

The circumstances of that seventh grandchild are no doubt awkward. Biden’s corrupt and troubled son Hunter impregnated an exotic dancer who worked at a seedy club a few blocks from the White House. Hunter was allegedly smoking crack inside the club and reportedly doesn’t even remember the circumstances surrounding the conception of the child, which also occurred while he was dating his brother’s widow. Various legal proceedings and a DNA test would later confirm the child was his.

Even the president and the first lady themselves only acknowledge six grandchildren. While I don’t know the reasons for this and am not going to speculate about their motives, I find the decision to ignore the child unsettling.

Hunter’s drug problems and lurid behavior have been well-known for years. Nor are even most of Biden’s supporters under the impression that Biden, a serial fabulist implicated in Hunter’s extensive corruption with foreign governments, is one of the more moral or upstanding men to have occupied the White House. It’s possible that hiding this child is some sort of a political calculation, and aside from this being depressingly cynical, it does little to protect the damaged reputations of either Biden. There may well be more to the story, but the child is just unmentioned.

Over 40 percent of American children are born out of wedlock, and a drug epidemic has been rampaging in the country for years. Even if Hunter Biden’s conduct is more shocking than that of most unwed fathers, Americans can personally empathize with the Biden family drama. It is all the more reason the Biden family should acknowledge the child, setting an example of welcoming children regardless of the circumstances that brought them about. This is what it means to show compassion and extend dignity—to do it even at what we think is at personal cost to ourselves.

Americans can personally empathize with the Biden family drama.

In fact, I am among the tens of millions of Americans who have a troubled relative who brought a child into this world in less-than-ideal circumstances. In my devoutly religious military family, the circumstances behind this birth were difficult and even humiliating. And yet, no one ever even considered not fully embracing the child as one of our own.

Given a public that’s primed to be empathetic, the bizarre willingness of the press to go along with denying this child’s existence, while otherwise painting a rosy portrait of Biden’s close relationship with his grandchildren, seems to confirm some of the worst suspicions that Americans have of the left-of-center establishment. After watching all the angst over the repeal of Roe v. Wade, it appears they’re resolutely pro-abortion because they see unplanned children as evidence of a shame that can’t be erased.

Then there are the convenient double standards employed. Hence the bizarre circumstances where a twice divorced and promiscuous Donald Trump, who seemed to have a tight-knit loving family in spite of all that, was repeatedly decried as an amoral monster by people and institutions willing to overlook the incredibly debauched behavior of the Bidens and Clintons.

And to be fair, those purporting to uphold morality in politics from the right haven’t always expressed their concern in the most loving way, either. But if there is a silver lining to the fact that American society is increasingly defined by broken families, most people now understand that upholding ideals about marriage and monogamous two-parent households isn’t helped by being sharply judgmental towards those who fail to live up to those ideals. When a child is involved, the first priority is making sure that child is being loved and supported.

That’s why it’s so perplexing and sad to watch a president who won’t acknowledge one of his own grandchildren. I feel confident that, if he did, Americans would support his decision, and it could even bolster the reputation of a president who many doubt exhibits much moral leadership. Leadership starts with the courage to count all your grandchildren in public.

Editor’s note: WORLD has corrected this column to indicate that Donald Trump has been divorced twice.

Mark Hemingway

Mark Hemingway is a senior writer at RealClearInvestigations and the books editor at The Federalist. He was formerly a senior writer at The Weekly Standard, a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Examiner, and a staff writer at National Review. He is the recipient of a Robert Novak Journalism fellowship and was a two-time Global Prosperity Initiative Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He was a 2014 Lincoln Fellow of The Claremont Institute and a Eugene C. Pulliam Distinguished Fellow in Journalism at Hillsdale College in 2016. He is married to journalist and Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway, and they have two daughters.

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