Democrats Debate Dueling Hunter Biden Strategies

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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Democrats are deeply concerned about impending Republican investigations into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings, according to recent reports. The White House has been preparing for the onslaught of probes that House GOP lawmakers intend to launch when they take over the lower chamber next year.

But the Hunter Biden issue, in particular, seems to be a serious source of concern on the left, and Democrats have been engaged in multiple strategy sessions to determine the best course of action to fend off the inevitable attacks that will ensue when the investigations uncover certain details.

A Washington Post report suggested that Democrats are attempting to decide between two different strategies to combat the political fallout that might come from the Hunter Biden investigations. The first plan of attack involves a more aggressive approach, while the other would have Hunter avoiding the spotlight while Democrats and their allies label the investigations as politically-motivated.

Those favoring a more pugilistic strategy have suggested using lawfare to go after those who criticized Hunter. They also recommended conducting research on Tony Bobulinski, Hunter’s former business partner, and John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer repairman with whom the younger Biden left his laptop. This suggestion might be designed to dig up dirt that could be used to discredit both men – especially if Republicans make them a focal point of the investigations.

One of the advantages of this approach might be that it would make it easier for Democrats to control the narrative. If they remain on offense and force the right to fend off their attacks, it could place them off balance. With members of the activist media ready to stand side-by-side with Hunter’s defense team, this could be a formidable strategy.

But one of the cons of this gambit is the risk that it would keep the Hunter Biden story in the news. Indeed, the more loudly they proclaim his innocence, the more attention the story will get. If House Republicans manage to dig up information damning enough to harm Hunter and President Joe Biden, being more aggressive might just backfire. This would mean that the details of the investigation would be broadcast even more loudly because Hunter’s team would be forced to try to spin whatever information surfaces on the airwaves and interwebs.

The White House is planning to outsource much of its resistance to the offensive coming from House Republicans. Since it cannot use government tools to engage directly with the conflict, several nonprofits are expected to carry the administration’s water. These entities will take on the burden of the fight while the Bidens stay out of the spotlight on this matter.

Using this strategy would mean Democrats would sacrifice direct control over the narrative. But again, their close friends and allies in the press would gladly pick up the slack and use their platforms to convince their audience that whatever Republicans find isn’t worth considering. They will handle all spin duties for the White House over the course of the investigations.

Another advantage of this approach is that Democrats will not be keeping the matter in the news, meaning that it will not gain as much attention. But there is the risk that Republicans could find a smoking gun that is unavoidable. Without an attack squad at the ready, Biden’s team could be caught off guard in a way that causes him to lose big as far as public opinion is concerned.

So far, it is not quite certain which game plan Democrats will go with. Indeed, they could use elements of both plans going forward. But the fact that Biden’s allies are not yet on the same page might be a sign that they will not be able to mount an effective counter to what the GOP is planning. Of course, it is still early and they have time to make these decisions. But if they want to win this PR battle, they had better make up their minds soon.


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