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Giving more sleepless nights to the campaigns

Robert Kennedy Jr. may not make it in the Electoral College math, but may have enough numbers in the popular vote count to make Trump and Biden nervous on November 5.

Robert Kennedy picks Nicole Shanahan as running mate for White House / X@RobertKennedyjr

When Robert Kennedy Jr. picked Nicole Shanahan as his Vice President choice, he must have more on his mind than completing formalities to enable him to get on the ballot in all of the fifty states.

For that matter his mind would not have been on the bank account of his running mate. After all right through the primaries, he has been making the point that the purpose of his candidacy was to provide a serious alternative to President Joe Biden and Donald Trump on both personality and policies. 

From the very beginning the Trump campaign has been highly critical of Kennedy Jr. and his signing off with Shanahan has only irked the team a little more labelling him a radical Democrat. At times the Trumpists have even accused Kennedy Jr. of being an election denier in the past, forgetting for a minute that the playbook for election denying and deniers together with cuckoo conspiracy theories all started at their doorsteps.

A lot things are said in the heat of the election process but the underlying fear of both the Trump and the Biden campaigns are for all to see. For now, the Biden campaign has been relatively muted but that does not mask an unseen apprehension of what the Kennedy Jr. factor could be capable of, especially in some of the swing states where the incumbent got by last time rather narrowly.

Only the very naïve will say with a straight face that President Biden “just” played host to some 20-odd members of the Kennedy clan on St. Patricks Day this month—with or without a pint of Guinness—and pose for a group photo. 

Many members of the Kennedy family are against Kennedy Jr. taking on the Democratic incumbent. If a majority in the clan are against their brother, cousin or nephew, the fact also is that aside from his policy preferences, Kennedy Jr. is in a way entitled to draw on the standing of his father, who was an Attorney General, a key person in the decision making of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and a presidential aspirant in 1968 before being brutally killed.

Also, Kennedy Jr. can legitimately lean on the legacy of his two uncles—the still loved and admired former President John F Kennedy and the Dean of Liberals, Edward Kennedy, that right wing Republicans hesitated to confront.  At this point it really does not matter who has to fear more from Kennedy Jr. Both Trump and Biden are bound to have sleepless nights. The simple truth is that nearly three quarters of the American people do not wish to see a re-match of 2020; and are reluctantly forced to watch the same.

Robert Kennedy Jr. may not make it in the Electoral College math, but may have enough numbers in the popular vote count to make Trump and Biden nervous on November 5. And that would be the message of Kennedy Jr. for 2024 and beyond.
 

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