July 24, 2024

Archie Wertheim

Technology Integration and Foundations for Effective Leadership

RFK Jr. Announces VP Pick Is Tech Entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan

3 min read
RFK Jr. Announces VP Pick Is Tech Entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan

“Kennedy’s promise to unravel this corporate capture will help bring an end to this chronic disease epidemic,” Ryerson said.

Bhattacharya declared that he was “delighted” that Kennedy has “lent his considerable voice” to the cause of free speech. Bhattacharya is one of the authors of the “Great Barrington Declaration,” an open letter that argued there should be no Covid lockdowns but instead “focused protection” for older and immune-compromised people; these views were not widely shared by the scientific community.

Chris Clem spoke about his shared desire with Kennedy to secure the border.

Then, Calley Means claimed that both “the media” and many politicians are funded by pharmaceutical companies. “Less SSRIs,” he declared in one representative soundbite. “More sunlight and healthy food.”

“We need a president who questions the science,” he added.

Finally, after several more speakers, videos, and performances—including a dirgelike rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” by singer Tim Hockenberry and a florid “America the Beautiful” by singer Mika Hale—Kennedy’s wife, the actor Cheryl Hines, took the stage to introduce her husband.

Hines has occupied an awkward space for years with regards to her husband’s anti-vaccine activism, which she was eventually forced to comment upon and disavow when Kennedy, at an anti-Covid mandates rally, intimated that vaccine mandates had been worse than the Holocaust.

Onstage, Hines struck a more conventional tone of a political spouse, telling the crowd that Kennedy would bring the country together. “America listening,” she said, adding that the nation “is inspired.”

In his speech announcing Shanahan, as he’s done throughout his campaign, Kennedy again leaned heavily on his family legacy, recounting how his father, Robert Kennedy, had a “rancorous” meeting with local NAACP and Black Panther leaders in Oakland, which eventually led to their political support and the Black Panthers providing security for his father’s campaign. (Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, during his own run for president, by shooter Sirhan Sirhan.)

Over the past few weeks, the Kennedy campaign teased several other VP choices, most notably NFL player Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota governor turned media figure Jesse Ventura. These picks seemed engineered to appeal to a young male voter base and, like Kennedy, are people who have promoted and spread conspiracy theories. But on March 16, Mediaite reported that Shanahan was Kennedy’s pick, citing sources close to the campaign. That source also told the outlet that Shanahan could help fund Kennedy’s efforts to get on more state’s ballots but added, “She lacks the qualifications to actually do the job.”

In recent months, the DNC has also mounted its pushback against Kennedy as a spoiler candidate and a boon to Trump. In a call with reporters, according to CNN, a DNC adviser called RFK “a stalking horse” being “propped up” by Trump and his donors.

“Our campaign is a spoiler,” Kennedy said on Tuesday, to cheers. “I agree with that. It’s a spoiler for President Biden and for President Trump. It’s a spoiler for the war machine” as well as other targets including “Big Ag and Big Pharma.” Millions of people, he said, might elect not to vote at all rather than choose between the “two tired heads of the uniparty.”

“Nicole and I,” he added, “are going to give those millions another choice.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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