a hot potato

hot potato

A sensitive situation or controversial issue that is difficult to handle and thus gets passed from one person to the next (like a potato that is too hot to hold). The political candidate knew the issue was a hot potato, so he deferred to his chief of staff, who directed questions to the committee chairperson.
See also: hot, potato

a hot potato

COMMON If a subject or problem is a hot potato, it is very difficult to deal with, especially because it is something that people argue about a lot. When she is faced with a political hot potato such tightening the gun laws, she is not afraid to give her opinion. Pricing policy is another hot potato.
See also: hot, potato

a hot poˈtato

(informal) a very sensitive matter that is difficult or embarrassing to deal with: His resignation is a political hot potato.
See also: hot, potato
References in classic literature ?
Make haste, for there's a hot potato besides, and half a pint of fresh-drawn beer in a bottle.
There's even a musical toy made to look like, you guessed it, a hot potato.
With a role in the recent hit movie "Toy Story," he is definitely a hot potato.