Home » Opinion | Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Is Worse Than a Spoiler

Opinion | Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Is Worse Than a Spoiler


Lately, you’ve probably been asking yourself: What does it mean that Nicole Shanahan has been chosen as Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s running mate?

OK, maybe not.

I know, you’ve got a full and busy life. Still, the Shanahan thing is sorta serious. Let’s discuss.

R.F.K. Jr. is, as we all know, running for president as an independent — an effort that will further publicize his anti-vaccination views and perhaps provide a point to his life.

Shanahan, a lawyer who has never won elective office, is notable for being really, really rich. She’s a billionaire, thanks to her five-year marriage to Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google. Many of us first heard of her when she put$4 million toward financing a Super Bowl ad for Kennedy that superimposed his face on some clips promoting his assassinated uncle. Which drove his siblings further into the arms of President Biden, the recent host of a White House St. Patrick’s Day party that included a mega-Kennedy guest list.

“Nearly every single grandchild of Joe and Rose Kennedy supports Joe Biden,” R.F.K. Jr.’s younger sister Kerry said in a speech a few weeks after the gathering.

In many presidential contests, a third-party candidate like Kennedy wouldn’t make a difference. Every four years, people you’ve never heard of manage to get themselves on the presidential ballot in one state or another. Never works — the last time we had a president who wasn’t affiliated with either the Democratic or the Republican Partywas Millard Fillmore, who was the vice-presidential nominee of the Whig Party and got to be president in 1850 when Zachary Taylor died from supposedlyeating too many cherries and drinking too much milk at a Fourth of July celebration.

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