1. a difficult problem or situation that nobody wants to deal with
the issue of gun control is a political hot potato in the United States
This expression is used in relation to a sensitive situation or controversial issue that people are uncertain or concerned about dealing with, often because it may have negative consequences for them. In such cases, the person in question may prefer to avoid the problem or simply pass it on to someone else. It is often associated with politics, as that is by nature a particularly divisive part of life where there is always some kind of controversial issue being debated or discussed. The term alludes to the discomfort one would feel if a hot potato was placed in your hand and the subsequent desire to either drop it or throw it to somebody else, and it can be used in both a social and professional context.