Robert F Kennedy Jr picks Nicole Shanahan as his running mate for his independent presidential bid

Robert F Kennedy Jr selected Nicole Shanahan as his running mate for his independent White House campaign.

“I am proud to introduce you all to the next Vice President of the United States, Nicole Shanahan. #KennedyShanahan24,” wrote Kennedy on X.

Nicole Shanahan, 38, a California lawyer and philanthropist, brings fresh energy to Kennedy Jr’s bid, focusing on issues like women’s reproductive science, criminal justice reform, and the environment through her Bia-Echo Foundation.

Kennedy Jr, formerly a Democrat, emphasised their shared departure from the Democratic Party, citing a shift in party values. Shanahan’s upbringing in Oakland, California, adds a personal touch to their campaign.

“Nicole and I both left the Democratic Party, our values didn’t change. The Democratic Party did,” Kennedy Jr said.

IMPACT ON THE 2024 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

In the 2024 presidential race, Robert F Kennedy Jr emerged as a notable independent candidate, shaking up the traditionally bipartisan landscape dominated by Democrats and Republicans.

Despite his Democratic roots, Kennedy’s divergence from mainstream views on vaccines and conspiracy theories appeals to a segment of voters disenchanted with the political establishment.

Kennedy’s independent campaign worries Democrats, as it could syphon votes from Biden and aid Trump.

Without party backing, getting on ballots across states is challenging.

He’s chosen a running mate to comply with state rules, aiming for access in swing states like Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia.

Shanahan’s background in Silicon Valley and her advocacy for transformative technologies complement Kennedy’s critiques of the tech industry’s power.

Despite hurdles, Kennedy urges voters to take a chance on their campaign, aiming to challenge the dominance of major parties.

“If Nicole and I can get Americans to refuse to vote from fear, we’re going to be in the White House in November,” he said.

Supporters see promise in the duo, drawn by Shanahan’s passion for social causes.

Yet, critics within the Kennedy family and political circles question the viability of his candidacy and the impact it could have on the election.

CRITICISM AND CONCERNS SURROUNDING KENNEDY’S CANDIDACY

Some members of his family have publicly criticised his views. Dozens of Kennedy family members sent a message when they posed with Biden at a St. Patrick’s Day reception at the White House in a photo his sister Kerry Kennedy posted to social media.

“He’s a spoiler. He’s tried to coast on his family legacy and the goodwill they have in the African American community,” Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Austin Davis said of Kennedy on a conference call with reporters organised by the DNC. “But the Kennedy family has denounced this lame attempt and they’ve quite frankly stood with President Biden,” reported AP.

Republicans, likewise, worry Kennedy’s anti-establishment bent and scepticism about the response to Covid-19 could entice voters who might otherwise vote for Trump.

“Robert F Kennedy Jr is a far-left radical that supports reparations, backs the Green New Deal, and wants to ban fracking,” said Alex Pfeiffer, a spokesperson for the pro-Trump super PAC Make America Great Again Inc. “It’s no surprise he would pick a Biden donor leftist as his running mate.”

As the campaign gains traction, both Democrats and Republicans are gearing up to counter third-party options, including Kennedy’s bid.

Kennedy is 69 and the youngest between Trump and Biden, whose age is a concern among American voters.

Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Donald Trump, a Republican, have clinched nominations from their respective parties, setting the stage for a presidential re-match in the November elections.

However, Kennedy remains undeterred, banking on his family legacy and Shanahan’s support to make a mark in the upcoming election.

Kennedy’s journey from activism to politics has been marked by controversies, notably his stance on vaccines. Despite opposition, he persists in his bid, driven by a desire for change and a belief in his ability to lead.

Published By:

Girish Kumar Anshul

Published On:

Mar 27, 2024

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