Hunter Biden’s memoir is framed as a howl of mourning for his brother, Beau, who died of cancer at age 46. But a day after Beau’s funeral, his cocaine-addicted sibling believed that his tragic passing might create an opening to run for office himself.
In “Beautiful Things,” his book released Tuesday, he recounts an interaction with his then-wife Kathleen as they returned home from the funeral:
I pulled the car over and told Kathleen that maybe politics was now an option for me. “You know, as horrible as I feel, I have a feeling of real purpose,” I said. It seemed so many people were more willing to forgive my past mistakes—relapses with drinking, administrative discharge from the Navy Reserve—than I was willing to forgive myself.
I suppose her response—Are you serious?—was entirely warranted. We didn’t say another word to each other for the rest of the ride. Or, really, ever again.
Hunter idolizes Beau throughout the book, at one point gushing, “He had the longest eyelashes to go with those striking blue eyes. He had great hair.”
In Joe Biden’s own memoir, the now-president once wrote, “I was pretty sure Beau could run for President some day, and, with his brother’s help, he could win.”
But Hunter didn’t just want to help Beau. At times, it seems he wanted to be him.
He proceeded to shack up with Beau’s widow, Hallie. “By the time we returned to Delaware at the end of the week, we were no longer just two people bound by shared grief. We were a couple,” he writes.
Then he married another woman only a week after meeting her, instantly professing his love to her on a blind date, based seemingly on her physical similarity to his brother:
We both smiled as I sat down. I spoke up first.
“You have the exact same eyes as my brother.”
Then, not long after that, having no idea what I was going to say until it jumped out of my mouth: “I know this probably isn’t a good way to start a first date, but I’m in love with you.”
Beau’s cancer diagnosis also helps Hunter justify his five-figures-a-month paycheck from a Ukrainian gas company:
I want to be clear: Beau’s health problems didn’t prompt me to do something I wouldn’t have done otherwise. The money was helpful, but I could’ve figured out another way to make it. I wasn’t desperate. Yet it did provide me the ability not to work as hard at continuing to develop clients, the most time-consuming part of my work—drilling twenty dry wells to finally hit pay dirt. That gave me more time to tend to Beau.
Instead, the money was “a major enabler during my steepest skid into addiction” that allowed him to “spend recklessly, dangerously, destructively,” including using cocaine on a Burisma board trip, he says.