Kennedy's VP pick worries Democrats as Biden faces tough re-election

 March 28, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy's naming of a running mate has Democrats increasingly fearful that he will draw votes from Joe Biden's embattled re-election bid. 

Kennedy named wealthy lawyer Nicole Shanahan as his VP pick on Tuesday. With Shanahan on the ticket, Kennedy will have the opportunity to gain wider ballot access - something Democrats, who claim to champion democracy, are very mad about.

RFK's VP pick spooks Dems

Getting ballot access is expensive, something Shanahan could help with.

She helped pay for Kennedy's Super Bowl ad, which riffed on a campaign aid for his uncle, President John F. Kennedy.

Democrats have painted Kennedy as a Trump operative who is trying to spoil the race for Biden. They seem worried enough that they might actually think it's true.

Hours after Kennedy's announcement, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) fumed at his "disgusting" campaign on a group call.

"All he can do is take away votes from President Biden and make it easier for Donald Trump to win. And we simply can't afford to let that happen," said Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Austin Davis.

"Great for MAGA"

Anxiety about letting rivals gain access to the ballot is becoming a recurring theme for Democrats, who backed a failed effort to disqualify Trump to "save democracy."

While Kennedy has been effectively disowned by his famous liberal family, Democrats are worried that nostalgia for Camelot could win Kennedy votes that Biden desperately needs in the swing states.

At the same time, Kennedy's broadly populist rhetoric, which is steeped in suspicion of the establishment, has drawn comparisons to the Trump movement.

The Trump campaign has wasted no time blasting Shanahan as a radical liberal, pointing to her apparent sympathy for left-wing causes, with uncertainty lingering about how Kennedy will impact the race.

According to Politico, Shanahan is a critic of IVF, which has become an issue in the 2024 campaign after a court ruling in Alabama categorized frozen embryos as human.

It's likely that Shanahan's views will continue to be scrutinized by both sides.

In a Truth Social post, Trump crowed that Kennedy is "great for MAGA."

"His running mate, Nicole Shanahan, is even more ‘Liberal’ than him, if that’s possible. Kennedy is a Radical Left Democrat, and always will be!!! It’s great for MAGA, but the Communists will make it very hard for him to get on the Ballot,” he said.

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