With former Vice President Joseph Biden finally entering the presidential race last week and quickly becoming the Democratic frontrunner there’s been some speculation that an unconventional romantic situation in his family could become a distraction to his campaign.
Biden’s son, Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer in May of 2015. At some point afterward, Beau’s widow, Hallie, began a relationship with Hunter Biden, her late husband’s brother and the former vice president’s other son. Per Page Six, this led to Hunter Biden’s separation from his former wife.
But on Tuesday the same outlet, Page Six, reported that Hunter and Hallie had split up. “It is believed they have now broken up,” the site reported, adding that Hallie had said “no comment” when asked if the relationship was over.
Hunter Biden said in an interview earlier this year that the circumstances of his divorce and his relationship with his late brother’s widow shouldn’t have any effect on his father’s run for president.
“The important aspect of my complicated divorce (like all divorces) and an equally complicated life, marked by the tragic loss of my mother, sister and brother is this: My father has been a constant source of love and strength in my life,” Hunter Biden said, per Vanity Fair. Hunter has also been implicated in some questionable overseas business dealings, per that same Vanity Fair story.
It’s unclear why exactly the story of Hunter and Hallie would reflect poorly on Joseph Biden or his presidential candidacy. The elder Biden, after all, didn’t have anything to do with the affair, and voters who are reminded of the many terrible family tragedies that have affected the former vice president, they’re more likely to sympathize with him than anything else.
Joe Biden and his wife Jill have been supportive of the relationship in their public comments.
“We are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were putting their lives together again after such sadness,” the Bidens said in a statement in 2017.
“They have mine and Jill’s full and complete support and we are happy for them.”
While Biden has been criticized for various gaffes in his campaign thus far, Biden appears to have a significant lead in the early polls for the Democratic presidential nomination. The Quinnipiac University National Poll released Tuesday found that Biden leads the Democratic field with 38 percent of the vote, a 26-point margin over Elizabeth Warren, who is second with 12 percent.