Who Will Kennedy Pick?

Who Will Kennedy Pick?
American Values 2024 | March 18, 2024

By Leah Watson, The Kennedy Beacon

Over the weekend, the buzz about who Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will select as his vice presidential running mate reached a fevered pitch.

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The media website Mediaite presented itself as the one outlet to have the scoop, outing Nicole Shanahan as the “expected”

Kennedy intends to announce his running mate on Tuesday, March 26, at an event in Oakland, California.

Because The Kennedy Beacon, funded by the American Values 2024 super PAC, acts independently of the Kennedy campaign, we have no more information than what has been published in other media.

Team Kennedy campaign manager Amaryllis Fox addressed the rumors on X on March 16, writing:

Oh boy, this media! They were sure about Aaron, now they’re sure about Nicole. Tomorrow they’ll be sure about somebody else. The truth is, they’re just going to have to wait until we all get to celebrate Bobby’s brilliant running-mate together in ten days.

While I can’t share a name, I will say that I could not be more thrilled with Bobby’s decision. He ran a thorough process and has chosen a Vice President who is truly worthy of the American people.

Fox acknowledged that Shanahan “has indeed been among the conversations” but listed others from tho shortlist.

Once married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Shanahan is a Bay Area lawyer and investor who helped fund AV24’s Kennedy Super Bowl ad, as reported by The New York Times’ Rebecca O’Brien.

According to Mediaite, Shanahan’s nomination is promising as she will also be helpful with the campaign’s ballot access initiative. Mediaite’s sources claim that “the campaign is also looking for a candidate who can help finance the ballot access initiative.”

Additionally, Shanahan grew up in Oakland, where Kennedy’s VP announcement is set to take place.

But the location can be used to mean many things and does not rule out other candidates.

Kennedy’s shortlist includes former governor of Minnesota and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, former television host Mike Rowe, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, civil rights attorney Tricia Lindsay, former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Republican Senator Rand Paul, as well as attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan. It’s a list that reflects Kennedy’s mission to “heal the divide.”

According to Politico’s reporting, which includes anonymous sources close to the internal deliberations of the Kennedy campaign, Gabbard has distanced herself from the campaign’s VP vetting team and shifted her focus to former president Donald Trump’s candidacy. Limiting the options even further, Politico reports that Senator Paul stated in an interview that although he is supportive of Kennedy, he does not wish to be a part of his campaign. That leaves six choices.

A name that captured the attention of many on Kennedy’s list is that of Jesse Ventura. Last month at a campaign event in Tucson, Arizona, Kennedy invited his old friend to the stage. Ventura publicly endorsed Kennedy. “I have been a person of the third party my entire political career and my entire adult life.… I support the third-party movement.” Ventura stressed how important it is to elect someone who puts country first, before party.

In Minnesota, Ventura was elected governor as the Reform Party candidate. “I’m your example,” he said. “They can be beaten.” They being the two-party system, which the centrist Reform Party ran against for failing to prioritize the needs of the people of Minnesota.

Another prominent name on the shortlist is Aaron Rodgers, a football player currently signed to the New York Jets. Rodgers has stood courageously against backlash for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine. “I have a platform, some people just want you to just shut up and throw a football,” said Rodgers on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on February 7.

According to Mediaite, Rodgers is no longer being considered for vice president. Anonymous sources close to the Kennedy campaign claim that Rodgers being considered for the position “prompted concerns among donors to the campaign.”

Another person who has expressed disdain for the two-party system is former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Like Kennedy, Yang believes that the two-party system has been increasing partisanship and the divide between Americans. In 2021, Yang announced he was leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent, running for New York mayor with the Forward Party.

Yang was instrumental in helping pass ranked-choice voting (RCV) in New York City. RCV gives third-party candidates more influence in elections. In a CBS News interview, Yang spoke about the duopoly and its failure, saying that more Americans are losing faith in the system. “Our founding fathers never would have wanted us to have two parties … it’s well past time to change it.”

TV host Mike Rowe and motivational speaker Tony Robbins are also named on Kennedy’s shortlist. Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, has shined a light on hardworking Americans in typically unrecognized and underappreciated professions. In his show, Rowe immersed himself in the lives of construction workers, sanitation workers, manufacturers, and cleaners to educate his audience and highlight the accomplishments and contributions of the people in these fields. CNN recently interviewed Rowe about a conversation he had with Kennedy. According to Rowe, he ran into Kennedy about six months ago and during their conversation, Kennedy asked if Rowe would ever consider running for public office. Last week, Rowe was in the airport when he glanced up at a monitor and saw his name listed next to the other possible running mates. He made a comment on X, saying, “Airports are funny places….”

An Instagram post from January 11 depicts a smiling Kennedy and Tony Robbins side by side with the caption “Spent the day in Florida talking about healing America with my old friend @tonyrobbins.” On his podcast, Robbins has promoted a message of unity and healing across many of his episodes.

Tricia Lindsay is an attorney at law who has been an inspirational leader in the health freedom movement in New York. In November of last year, Lindsay acted as attorney for Children’s Health Defense in their lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia for permitting children 11 years and older to consent to vaccination without parental knowledge.

Lindsay also attended the Latino Legal Leaders Roundtable event hosted by American Values 2024 (AV24 funds The Kennedy Beacon), discussing education, medical freedom, and Latino entrepreneurship. This collection of lawyers and attorneys talked about the barriers facing the Latino community and how Kennedy intends to break those barriers down.

Kennedy wants to unify a divided country. Many of the above seem poised to help him do that.

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