RFK Jr. selects Nicole Shanahan as his vice-presidential candidate

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has chosen Nicole Shanahan, a tech attorney and entrepreneur, to be his running partner in his independent presidential candidacy.

Kennedy made the announcement on Tuesday at an event in Oakland, Calif., where he explained how their 2024 ticket differs from that of President Biden and former President Trump.

At the occasion, he stated that Shanahan is the daughter of immigrants “who overcame every daunting obstacle and went on to achieve the highest levels of the American dream.”

“That is why I’m so proud to introduce to you, the next vice president of the United States, my fellow lawyer, a brilliant scientist, technologist, a fierce warrior-mom, Nicole Shanahan,” he said.

Kennedy’s choice of Shanahan broadens the ticket’s demographics. At 38, she is more than three decades younger than Kennedy, who is 70. A female running mate also balances out the ticket in an election if the Democratic, Republican, and Independent front-runners are all older white men.

The California-based entrepreneur, who is the founder and president of the Bia-Echo Foundation, provides the Kennedy campaign with a proven source of funding. Shanahan, the former husband of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, paid for the majority of Kennedy’s February Super Bowl ad, which drew millions of views. After finishing law school, she created ClearAccessIP, an analytics startup.

Kennedy stated that he wanted a running mate who shared his “indignation” over how Big Tech companies collaborate in the “censorship, surveillance, and information warfare that our government is currently waging against the American people,” and that technology has been one of Shanahan’s “lifelong” interests.

“That’s why I’m bringing on someone with a deep inside knowledge of how Big Tech uses [artificial intelligence] to manipulate the public,” he added.

Mediaite first reported that Kennedy has picked Shanahan to complete his ticket.

Shanahan stated in her own remarks that her political views – “to serve peace, and to help those in poverty” – led her to the Democratic Party at first. However, she claimed the party had now “lost its way.”

“You can see why I gravitated to the Democratic Party. Because it was meant to be the party of peace and compassion. Many Democrats still believe in those ideas, but the institution has lost its way,” she stated.

“Today, there is just one anti-war candidate, one peace candidate, and he is not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties. He is independent. “He is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.”

Shanahan also stated during her statements that she was leaving the Democratic Party.

“This autonomous movement occurs at a period of severe divisiveness in America, which threatens to pull the country apart. It is time to re-align. “It is time, as Bobby Kennedy says, to focus on our common values rather than our differences,” she remarked.

Her proximity to Silicon Valley means more access to deep-pocketed donors for Kennedy’s White House campaign, which is critical for the costly ballot access operation he is launching ahead of the general election.

Because of the nature of certain laws and regulations in states where he is competing, Kennedy’s campaign was forced to announce a No. 2 candidate earlier in the cycle than usual. In roughly half of those states, he requires a stated running mate, and having a vice presidential choice allows him to collect signatures that will count toward his candidacy in the fall.

During an interview with NewsNation, The Hill’s sister company, Kennedy denied that Shanahan’s resources were his primary motive for hiring her, instead citing a generational barrier that he hopes to bridge with his decision.

“I wanted someone who is battle-tested, able to withstand criticism and the controversy and all the defamations and slanders and perjuries that are thrown against anyone who embarks on a presidential campaign,” Kennedy said in a statement.

She backed Kennedy’s independent campaign after he quit the Democratic Party to run against President Biden and former President Trump in November. The duo has more ties to Democrats than Republicans. Kennedy’s widespread name recognition in the party as a result of his renowned family enhances his profile in the race, while Shanahan has donated to other Democrats in previous campaigns, including Biden, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and author Marianne Williamson, according to Axios.

Shanahan and Kennedy share similar ideas on social justice and the environment. According to the Los Angeles Times, she donated tens of thousands of dollars to Proposition 57, a liberal criminal justice reform effort aiming at lowering incarceration rates in California. She has also been interested in climate change activities, to which Kennedy, an environmental attorney, has dedicated a significant amount of his professional time.

While announcing a vice president will technically help Kennedy qualify for more states, he still has a long way to go before being considered a top-tier candidate. He has so far appeared on the ballots in New Hampshire, Utah, and Hawaii, and his super PAC has stated that they have independently collected signatures for him in key battlegrounds such as Michigan and Georgia.

Kennedy allies hope that adding Shanahan will boost enthusiasm for his insurgent campaign, particularly among new funders and supporters, before state deadlines in the coming months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *