Long term candidate Robert F Kennedy announces his choice for vice president | Political Affairs

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Vice President of the United States Robert F. Kennedy Jr revealed that his running mate is Nicole Shanahan, a California-based technology attorney and philanthropist.

Kennedy – son of the late Attorney General Robert Kennedy and a member of one of the most prominent political groups in the US – revealed his decision at a meeting in Oakland, California, on Tuesday.

“I wanted someone who was battle-tested, able to withstand criticism and controversy and all the slander and gossip and lies that are given to anyone who starts a presidential campaign,” he said when he announced Shanahan.

Kennedy was also criticized for his third-party campaign, not to mention his controversial views including anti-vaccination propaganda.

He remains a distant critic in the 2024 presidential racewhile former President Donald Trump – a Republican – and President Joe Biden – a Democrat – are expected to advance. again.

But critics warn that Kennedy could be a “disruptor”, drawing votes away from what is expected to be a hard-fought campaign. The Biden-Trump rematch.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll earlier this month showed Biden slightly ahead of Trump: One percentage point separated them, with Biden receiving 39 percent support to Trump’s 38 percent.

11 percent of the people who were asked said they would choose someone, while 12 percent were thinking about whether to vote or not.

Independent candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr speaks at a campaign event in November in Columbia, South Carolina [Meg Kinnard/AP]

Who is Nicole Shanahan?

A political newcomer, Shanahan hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, a Democratic stronghold in California’s left-leaning state.

The ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, she has been a long-time Democratic donor, even supporting Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Standing on stage under a sign that read, “Declare your freedom,” Kennedy described her as “a gymnast who went to school for softball lessons.”

He also showed his credentials as a lawyer with experience in intellectual property and Silicon Valley, the center of innovation in the US.

“Technology has been a lifelong passion for my future vice president,” he told a crowd in Oakland.

“This is important because I want a vice president who shares my outrage at the involvement of big technology as a partner in monitoring and monitoring and fighting the wars our government is waging against the American people.”

Taking the podium alone, Shanahan evoked the challenges of his upbringing in the Bay Area, calling them “the source of my politics and beliefs”.

He also explained that his mother was from China who worked as a social worker and his father as someone struggling with drug abuse.

“Whenever my dad was out of a job, my family couldn’t make ends meet: food, gas, clothes, maintenance,” Shanahan said. “I know a lot of Americans know exactly what it’s like: being just one disaster away from disaster. I don’t think we could have done it without food stamps and government assistance.”

He credited the experience with informing his decision to join Kennedy on the campaign trail: “It has been part of my determination to do something for my country.”

Shanahan also admitted that he became “very rich later in life”.

“The purpose of wealth is to help the poor,” he said. “And I also want to bring it back to politics. That’s the purpose of luck.”

Super Bowl commercials

Before being named vice president on the Kennedy ticket, Shanahan was active in developing independent communications.

US media reported in February that Shanahan played a leading role in the production of commercials that aired during the Super Bowl, the end of the US football season.

Buying airtime during the Super Bowl is very expensive. Football is one of the most watched sports in the US, and the 2024 broadcast broke records, attracting 123.4 million viewers.

Shanahan told the New York Times that he spent $4m on 30-second buys at this year’s games, promoting Kennedy’s campaign. He also said that he contributed to the creative consultancy, helping to develop the marketing message.

The TV spot sparked controversy, as it recreated the look and feel of the 1960 campaign of Kennedy’s late uncle, President John F Kennedy.

The Kennedy family shot down the ad in an effort to benefit the slain president’s legacy, prompting an independent response to the criticism on television.

“I am deeply sorry if the Super Bowl ad offended anyone in my family. The ad was created and aired by the American Values ​​Super PAC without any involvement or endorsement from my campaign,” he said. he wroteI added: “I love you all.”

Nicole Shanahan and Robert F Kennedy hug their wives in front of a screen with their names on it.
Jacob Strumwasser, Nicole Shanahan, Robert F Kennedy Jr and Cheryl Hines rock the crowd in Oakland, California. [Eric Risberg/AP]

Choosing the vice president

Kennedy’s announcement in Oakland on Tuesday ends the ongoing debate over who to choose as his running mate.

US football legend Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota Governor and striker Jesse Ventura had been floated as possible vice-presidential candidates.

Shanahan’s nomination should boost the Kennedy campaign’s fundraising efforts in the coming weeks, as presidential hopefuls are expected to vote in November.

Also on Tuesday, President Biden appeared at a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, for a rare appearance with the Vice President, Oakland native Kamala Harris.

But Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has yet to pick a running mate, despite speculation.

Possibilities include the Republican presidential contenders: Tim Scott, who ran in the 2024 race, and Marco Rubio, the US senator from Florida who broke with Trump in 2016.

Other names being floated include US Representative Elise Stefanik and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

One politician who didn’t want to be on the list is Vice President Trump Mike Pence. They fell openly on events of January 6, 2021when Trump’s supporters entered the US Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the results of the 2020 election.

After the demonstrations, Trump forced Pence to sabotage the Electoral College election that was taking place at the Capitol. Protesters were heard chanting, “Hang Mike Pence,” as he refused.

Earlier this month, in an interview with Fox News, Pence described Trump as a threat to the Republican Party.

“Donald Trump is following and expressing a policy that contradicts the policy that we governed for four years,” he said. “That’s why I can’t in good conscience endorse Donald Trump for this campaign.”

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