Presidents having controversial children is not only a modern phenomenon. The scions of several presidents have been the stuff of shame over years.
We’re all familiar with the story of the president’s son who had the well-publicized issues with too many parties with Hollywood celebs and spending too much on addictive substances. Republicans complained loudly in the press that Democrats refused to hold their own children accountable. The son was accused of being involved in international drug smuggling, and even people in the president’s own party called for law enforcement to look into these accusations. Add to these issues the fact that people called for investigations into this particular man’s business dealings; there have been allegations that he used his influence inappropriately and that certain funds may have been illegally funneled into his firms. In addition, the son was accused of running scams, even scams against elderly people regarding their Social Security. All of this served to embarrass the president, certainly.
Born the son of privilege, sent to exclusive private schools, Ivy League law degree…you know the story. Early jobs were handed to him because of who his dad was in the federal government. All the while, the father insisted that the son earned his way into the positions, but everyone knew the real truth. He admitted that his name was his greatest asset, and he was never shy to use it when it benefitted him. It would seem that someone so blessed with position that his father’s prestige brought would at least attempt to live up to a certain standard. Certainly, his father would have asked that the son made better choices after having been raised the way he was with the benefits he received.
All of this was exacerbated by his closeness to his dad. The fact that the son visited his presidential father in the White House after “business trips” at the least was a bad look. If avoiding even the appearance of impropriety was important, this was not the way to go about things. Media outlets clamored for explanations, but the White House press secretary refused to even entertain questions about the discussions between father and son. Again, not a good look for either man.
The Securities and Exchange Commission got involved in looking at some of the son’s questionable financial dealings. International financial irregularities can often be used to dodge taxes, so they pay special attention to any whiff of something even a little bit unusual. It didn’t help that many of the son’s financial dealings overseas had to do with people who went to prison for illegal financial activities. Even the normally lenient economic investigation unit of the Swiss government looked into some of the deals because of their suspicious nature.
Then there’s the women. Accusations of affairs dogged the son. A police report was made when one of the women stabbed the man as he tried to leave her place one time. These various women birthed at least six children by this son.
And what did his father have to say about this embarrassing son?
After bravely saving the lives of three men under enemy fire in the Pacific Theater, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that his son, Major James R. Roosevelt, exhibited “gallant conduct and inspiring devotion to duty,” when he awarded James the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism during World War 2.