This particular story is about 27-year-old Ashley Biden, youngest child of Vice President Joe Biden. Apparently, according to the New York Post, an acquaintance of hers is trying to make some quick money by shopping a 40-minute video showing her snorting cocaine.
Because I’ve been spending so much time on schoolwork, checking only certain Web sites every few hours and even updating this one only as time permits, I have not had the chance to peruse usual outlets for tactless conservative commentary–contrary to popular belief, the political left does not have a monopoly on jerks–for fairly harsh remarks about this new political scandal, but I’m sure they’re out there nonetheless.
Now, I cannot speak for any of the other writers here at America’s Right, but I think I have a bit of a different take on this, and wanted to get it out there while I had the chance. See, I look at that old photo of Joe Biden with Ashley and I don’t see a liberal vice president or longtime liberal senator — I see a father and a daughter.
I see a daughter absolutely thrilled to be on the campaign trail with her father, feeling the heat of the klieg lights and getting a chance to see the innerworkings of what her dad, the man she looks up to most, does for a living. While my own daughter isn’t quite as old as Ashley Biden is in that photograph, the look on Ashley Biden’s face is universal. It’s marvel. It’s wonder. It’s awe. It’s the very same look I see in my daughter when we walk into the Please Touch Museum, or the Philadelphia Zoo, or any one of the neighborhood carnivals held on those crisp autumn nights.
I also see a father who, despite an arduous commute intended to facilitate more family time, perhaps did not always have the chance to be home as much as he wanted, and is absolutely grateful for the opportunity to share his public life with his little girl. I work some pretty long hours myself between my legal writing job during the day and law school at night and, as a father of a wonderfully beautiful daughter, I’ll be the first to tell you that no amount of time at home could ever be enough.
On these pages, I may not always be kind to Mr. Biden; in fact, I certainly get a great laugh on those frequent occasions where the gaffe-prone vice president rides through a news cycle or two with a loafer in his mouth (the video showing his fantastic recovery after asking a wheelchair-bound lawmaker to “stand up” should go down as one of the most memorable moments of the 2008 election). But I will tell you this: With regard to this latest news, I don’t care about his view on the Global War on Terror, I don’t care if he doesn’t understand the fundamental laws of the economy — he’s still a father, and she’s still his daughter.
When I do get the chance to actually be home to tuck my own little girl into bed at night, to read her a story, hold her hand and scratch her back, I cannot help but wonder what the future holds for her, for all of us. Back when that photo was taken, back in the mid-1980s, I’m certain that Mr. Biden could not have envisioned that awestruck little girl snorting cocaine at a house party and certainly would not have wished it upon her.
Of course, I understand that his fierce stance on illegal drugs gives legs to this particular scandal. I get that. I also get that scandal in general seems to be a prerequisite for, or at least a hallmark of, the Obama administration. But this isn’t the same as cheating on taxes, or perpetuating a pay-to-play culture out of a southwestern governor’s mansion. This is different. For that reason, I keep coming back to my own daughter and how, while this may be breaking news for the New York Post and for certain conservatives across the country, this is a family crisis for Joe, Jill and Ashley Biden.
After all, on those rare nights where I have the opportunity to wait for that little half-smile and the “I love you too, Daddy” to come from my daughter as she finally drifts off to sleep, as a father I cannot help but worry about her, want the best for her, and promise that I will do whatever I can so long as I still draw breath to ensure her safety. No father wants his little girl bouncing around at a house party, putting God-knows-what up her nose. No father wants that.
So, all that being said, I can only sit back and hope that, in the coming days, those of us on the political right spare Ashley Biden the same hatefulness, venom and vitriol thrown at Jenna and Barbara Bush–not to mention Bristol Palin–by our counterparts on the left. I’m not saying that she should somehow escape the consequences; after all, she is an adult and her actions were illegal. I’m only expressing my opinion that we should let petty and tasteless attacks be the left’s modus operandi, not ours.
I, for one, wish Vice President Joe Biden and his family well and pray for them to address and overcome this particular family obstacle, just as so many other families have had to do in the past. And, from one father to another — good luck, keep your chin up, and when you do get a moment, please look at the history books and reconsider the counterproductive steps taken by your administration to reverse the down economy. (Hey, I couldn’t resist.)