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Amtrak may have no better friend on Capitol Hill than Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), who has been an ardent supporter of subsidies for the troubled rail service and proudly says he takes the train to work. So it’s not hard to guess how Biden’s son Hunter garnered a presidential nomination this month to fill a Democratic seat on Amtrak’s Reform Board. The younger Biden, a partner at D.C.’s Oldaker, Biden and Belair and a former Commerce Department official, will be filling some big shoes. He’s replacing former Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis. “Amtrak should be one of our success stories,” Biden said in a written statement. “Right now it is one of our biggest challenges. I see this as a chance to make a difference.” But not everyone is thrilled to see a senator’s son climbing aboard Amtrak’s oversight panel. The appointment, says Joseph Vranich, a former Amtrak spokesman turned critic, is “nepotism at its dreadful worst.”
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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