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Friday, April 19, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Vice-Presidential Shortlist Includes Nicole Shanahan

Over the weekend, the campaign of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed that Nicole Shanahan, a prominent Bay Area lawyer and investor who was previously married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, is among the leading contenders to be Mr. Kennedy’s running on presidential ticket.

Ms. Shanahan’s emergence as a potential running mate comes amidst heightened speculation surrounding Mr. Kennedy’s vice-presidential shortlist. Last week, The New York Times reported that the list included notable figures such as N.F.L. star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Gov. Jesse Ventura of Minnesota. Subsequently, additional names have surfaced, including Tricia Lindsay, a lawyer known for her opposition to vaccine mandates. While Mr. Kennedy acknowledged speaking with Ms. Lindsay, he did not previously mention Ms. Shanahan.

The 38-year-old Ms. Shanahan played a pivotal role as both a creative force and primary financial supporter behind a $5 million Super Bowl advertisement produced by a super PAC endorsing Mr. Kennedy. The ad, 1960 presidential campaign ad for Mr. Kennedy’s uncle, John F. Kennedy, garnered praise from some quarters but also faced criticism from members of the Kennedy family who have distanced themselves from Mr. Kennedy’s campaign.

Mediaite reported on Saturday that Mr. Kennedy intended to select Ms. Shanahan as his vice-presidential candidate. However, a source familiar with the campaign indicated that Ms. Shanahan’s name gained traction amidst concerns surrounding Mr. Rodgers, though no final decision had been made.

Neither Ms. Shanahan nor Mr. Kennedy responded to requests for comment. Stefanie Spear, a spokeswoman for the Kennedy campaign, addressed the speculation, stating that the official announcement would be made on March 26 in Oakland, Calif.

Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, Mr. Kennedy’s daughter-in-law and campaign manager, addressed the media speculation in a social media post on Saturday. While confirming Ms. Shanahan’s candidacy, along with Mr. Rodgers’, she refrained from revealing Mr. Kennedy’s final decision. She expressed excitement about Mr. Kennedy’s choice but emphasized the fluid nature of media reports.

Records show that the domain name kennedyshanahan.com was registered on March 13. On Saturday, a payment processing page linked to Mr. Kennedy’s campaign website was live, but it was subsequently taken down on Sunday.

In a previous interview with The Times regarding the Super Bowl ad, Ms. Shanahan discussed her early support for Mr. Kennedy’s Democratic bid and her subsequent disillusionment when he departed from the party. However, she indicated a recent reconnection with the Kennedy camp, citing “pockets of silent support” for Mr. Kennedy’s candidacy.

The potential selection of Nicole Shanahan as Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s running mate adds intrigue to his independent presidential campaign. As the announcement date approaches, speculation continues to swirl, highlighting the significance of the decision for Mr. Kennedy’s political future.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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