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The Right Resistance: Who is threatened more by RFK Jr.’s unlikely presidential run, Biden or Trump?

I think most people, even many conservatives, if they’re being completely honest, would concede that they’ve been somewhat impressed by the campaign of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. thus far in 2024.


While the term “outsider” doesn’t fully apply to the son of a United States senator (and near-certain presidential nominee), the nephew of a president and/or the nephew of the “Lion of the Senate”, Teddy Kennedy, it’s taken guts for the famous political personality to speak out as forcibly as he has on a handful of matters where he’s confronted and defied the wishes of his lifelong party, not to mention an incumbent president running for reelection.

 

And RFK Jr. has done all of this at a moment in history where Democrats were looking to move in for the proverbial kill on issues like government censorship of free speech (disallowing “disinformation” on the regime’s tyrannical measures to stamp out the Chinese Communist Party – or Wuhan, if you prefer – virus) or deep state search powers as well as taking advantage of the public’s ignorance on vital, God-given freedoms.

 

Beyond that, RFK Jr.’s displayed amazing bravery, not only in challenging the reigning Democrat president, but also by leaving the party entirely when his issues-centered campaign was rejected by the Democrat powers-that-be. Kennedy must have realized that his chance at presidential electoral success was a long shot at best, yet he has persevered and built himself a small but dedicated following constituting a threat to the viability of both major party candidates this year.

 

Besides, the notion of supporting who appears to be an uncompromising “principled” outsider candidate is appealing to many Americans, especially in the current political environment, with a rematch between two virtual incumbent presidents – both of whom aren’t particularly popular. Trump was that type of attractive newcomer in 2016, only he mounted his bid from within the Republican party, greatly enhancing his credibility while increasing his actual chances of winning by leaps and bounds.

 

So RFK Jr. selected a niche in the “market” of politics, has name recognition by the American people, enough money to run a credible messaging effort and political intangibles that some voters appreciate. But does he have momentum? In an article titled “Republicans are starting to worry about RFK Jr.”, Lisa Kashinsky, Brittany Gibson, Jessica Piper and Steven Shepard reported at Politico:

 

“For months, Democrats have been on the defensive over the renegade Kennedy, with Biden surrogates warning openly about the effect Kennedy could have on the election and the Democratic National Committee going so far as to set up an operation solely to counter the threat of third-party and independent candidates.

 

“But recent polling broadly shows Kennedy drawing evenly from both of the major party candidates’ 2020 supporters. And Kennedy’s significantly higher favorable ratings among Republican voters suggests he has more room to eat into Trump’s vote share than Biden’s.

 

“In addition, a POLITICO analysis of campaign finance data shows far more interest in Kennedy from former Trump donors than people who previously contributed to Biden. ‘If the Trump campaign doesn’t see this as a concern, then they’re delusional,’ Republican consultant Alice Stewart said. ‘They should be looking at this from the standpoint that they can’t afford to lose any voters — and certainly not to a third-party candidate that shares some of [Trump’s] policy ideas.’”

 

Stewart is correct. The Trump campaign should be concerned about Kennedy’s potential ability to convince the 45th president’s own voters to choose RFK Jr. as an acceptable “compromise” candidate who isn’t senile Joe Biden. But I also can’t help but think that what we’re seeing in these recent polls is the residual from Nikki Haley’s failed campaign to wrest the nomination from Trump using “moderate” Republican voters.

 

I have no data to back it up, but it’s my theory that a good chunk of the small group of Republican voters who have recently gravitated to RFK Jr. are embittered former Haley backers who, for the moment at least, intend to make good on their vows to not support Trump at all this year, even if it means that senile Joe possibly ends up the winner in November. Nikki herself didn’t make things clearer or easier by refusing to outright endorse Trump and then claiming the RNC’s “Unity pledge” she signed last year (to participate in the debates) no longer applied to her.

 

In simple parlance, Haley is a liar. But, as I’ve explained a number of times, Nikki will almost assuredly come screaming back to the GOP before it’s too late because she still wants to run in 2028. So, Haley will lead many of those Republican RFK Jr. supporters back to Trump’s side as though they were rats following the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

 

If Haley holds out and senile Joe wins a second term by a tiny margin, she will have destroyed any chance she ever had to be the Republican Party’s future nominee.

 

Further, it’s obvious that some of the establishment media’s continued fascination with RFK Jr.’s presidential bid is due to bored journalists growing weary of covering Donald Trump’s ongoing legal woes or senile president Joe Biden’s rapidly advancing age and lack of cognitive wherewithal – and the non-outsider’s campaign gives them something semi-new and novel to write about. The legacy Kennedy’s gravelly voice and willingness to poke the eyes of the leaders of both parties makes him especially attractive in this sense. Not as eye-catching as Trump, but still someone who would draw interest from a public that’s already saturated and fed up with the political status quo.

 

RFK Jr. doesn’t sound like a politician, therein lies his appeal to the establishment media talkers and the significant segment of the public looking for an alternative. Besides, featuring RFK Jr. talking about his chances of winning the election is better to the chattering class because it means they won’t have to fill the column space or airtime with another Biden blunder or Trump facial expression during trial.

 

But is RFK Jr. a real threat to Trump this year? Are conservatives and Republicans right to worry? As I’ve written before, once conservatives and various Republican-leaning but Trump-suspicious independents get past their temporary exhilaration over RFK Jr.’s libertarian free speech beliefs and general excitement over his truth-telling mission on the COVID vaccine, there’s just not much there to impress a true believer in limited government with a politician named Kennedy (or one who isn’t from Louisiana).

 

RFK Jr. may be a different, new type of Kennedy or a slightly upgraded version of an old-style, pre-Obama Democrat, but he’s still mostly a big government-touting liberal, particularly on the remarkably dangerous (to liberty) “climate change” agenda. You can take a liberal out of the Democrat party, but you can’t just take Democrat wacko-ness out of the liberal. Unless you’re Tulsi Gabbard, that is. But that’s another story.

 

There are other significant obstacles to RFK Jr’s potential staying power.

 

To the extent that such things matter, RFK Jr.’s vice presidential choice (38-year-old billionaire California lawyer and philanthropist Nicole Shanahan) is an unknown whose record, once scrutinized, will probably shed negative light on the candidate himself. As would be the case in any election, the latest Kennedy presidential hopeful will face questions as to who she is and why he chose her. Is Shanahan qualified to be vice president? If so, how?

 

Will the Biden team participate in debates? Even if they do, which is not at all certain, will the networks allow RFK Jr. and Shanahan to appear on an equal basis with Trump’s yet-to-be-named running mate and cackling Kamala Harris? Democrats wouldn’t want to pit Harris against anyone, much less TWO people who would make her look even dumber to the world audience.

 

RFK Jr. and his running mate will also suffer from a publicity deficit this summer when both parties hold their quadrennial nominating conventions, high dollar extravaganzas that suck the oxygen out of third-party efforts that simply can’t keep pace with four days and nights of free TV coverage on CSPAN and the other networks.

 

Do you think CNN will cut from one of the conventions to show footage of RFK Jr. and Shanahan talking to some audience somewhere about vaccine mandates and stifled free speech?

 

Here’s thinking the majority of the buzz surrounding RFK Jr., at least in terms of a possible threat to Trump’s campaign, will be dissipated by the beginning of June. As soon as the Memorial Day holiday weekend is over, more Americans will engage in the campaign and it will be game-on for the Democrat vs. Republican contest that will produce the certain 2024 winner.

 

The binary choice always wins in American elections. Most Americans want their votes to count, which will mean they’ll be back in either Trump’s or Biden’s sphere when the time comes. Thankfully for conservatives, senile Joe has been such an awful president that the choice becomes easy for anyone with common sense.

 

What else will propel JFK Jr. to remain a factor in November? Is there anything?

 

The Politico authors added, “Kennedy himself has attacked Trump for not ‘draining the swamp’ while in office and accused him of hiring ‘swamp creatures’ like John Bolton, who was Trump’s national security adviser. But in recent weeks, he’s focused more of his contrast campaigning on his one-time primary rival, Biden — arguing in a CNN interview that Biden could be considered a bigger threat to democracy than Trump.”

 

That admission spoke volumes. Biden has more to fear from RFK Jr.’s presence on ballots.

 

One can give credit to RFK Jr. and his independent presidential campaign without giving him an overabundance of potential for his making a huge deviation in November’s result. If there is any difference this year it’s likely to be in swing states where the margin of victory is very close. Who will be hurt more by RFK Jr.? We have just over six months to see for sure.



  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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