2024 Election

RFK Jr., The Presidential Race Wild Card

Adapted from “The Michael Knowles Show,”  March 6, 2023.

There is a wild card in the presidential race, and that wild card is Bobby Kennedy Jr. — commonly known as, RFK. His father ran for president in 1968 and was assassinated while running, and his uncle was President John F. Kennedy, who was also assassinated. President Joe Biden, by the way, still will not give RFK Secret Service protection, which is just not a good look.

Originally, Bobby Kennedy Jr. was running in the Democratic primary, but he also appeals to some conservatives. He is an “ole timey” kind of Democrat, a 1960s kind who is still liberal, but the country has moved so far to the Left that some conservatives are now happy with 1960s liberalism. (I am not, but some people on the Right are.)

Being correct during COVID also helped Bobby Kennedy Jr. on the Right. Kennedy has focused on vaccines for decades now and has claimed them to not be particularly safe. During COVID, he was skeptical of Big Pharma and the medical industry, and he turned out to be proven correct in his skepticism. So, a lot of Right-wingers like him for that reason.

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That said, he was going nowhere in the Democratic primary. He was polling 20%, but that seemed to be the ceiling, partly because the Democrat Party has much more control over its nomination process. They were not going to let him really advance, which is reminiscent of how they treated Bernie Sanders back in 2016 — except it was going to be ten times worse for Kennedy. So, Kennedy decided to run as an independent candidate because he was pulling so many Right-wing voters anyway.

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Now, however, there are reports that Bobby Kennedy Jr. is considering becoming the Libertarian nominee for president.

According to the 2012 and 2016 campaign manager for the Liberty Party presidential nominee, Ron Nielson, there is a lot of buzz going on. There is a lot of interest in Bobby Kennedy. And if he were to say he accepts the nomination of the Libertarian Party, that would probably turn a lot of heads. The Libertarian Party says there are people within the Libertarian movement who would like to help him.

So what does Kennedy say? According to a source close to Kennedy, “There is a willingness of people in the Liberty movement to consider Bobby for sure.” This particular source spoke on the condition of anonymity. The source went on to say, “He is a rogue punk rocker of the political system.” So it seems as though Kennedy is at least open to the prospect of being the Libertarian nominee.

But why would he do it? The Libertarian nominee for president is never going to win the presidency. At least if Bobby Kennedy is running this independent campaign without a political party behind him, it seems as though maybe he would have a chance — because it is unheard of and he is shaking things up. But if he is just going to become the Libertarian Party nominee, it seems as though he is just marginalizing himself.

The reason is that Kennedy wants to appear on ballots around the country, and in order to do that, he must have some party’s support — some kind of operation, a national apparatus — and he currently lacks that. The Libertarian Party is the one vehicle for him to do that, so I think it makes perfect sense for him to become the Libertarian nominee. He’s not going to run as the Green Party candidate, nor as some other party candidate. So, it seems like a natural fit.

He is, after all, a kind of libertarian. The 1960s liberals are generally libertarians today. Granted, libertarians are a very broad group. Some are neo-conservatives and others are more hardcore principled libertarians. It is a big tent. But it is a natural fit for Bobby Kennedy Jr. He is not going to be president anyway, so he might as well get as many votes as he can. Though it’s a losing proposition, I like it because I think he will pull more votes from Biden than he will from Trump.

That has been my contention the whole time, and the polls seem to have proven me correct. So, as much as I hate to say I told you so, I’m happy to do it. Good for the Libertarians, good for Bobby Kennedy, Jr., but most especially, good for the conservatives.

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