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RFK Jr. – An All-New Version of Family Feud

The optic of Maria Shriver and Jill Biden holding hands at the State of the Union was no accident.

It’s hard to ignore a Kennedy, which is what the Democratic Party is finding out with less than eight months to go until Election Day. The presidential aspirations of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – or RFK Jr., as he is often known – are turning out to be the fly at the picnic that won’t go away. And Democrats, as well as members of the iconic Kennedy clan, are becoming exasperated by his atypical candidacy – exemplified by floating the name of controversial New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently as a potential running mate. So it comes as no surprise they are bringing out the heavy artillery to push him back into their little imaginary Camelot that has been coming apart at the seams ever since the grieving Jackie Kennedy created the metaphor.

That RFK Jr. is a threat to the sitting president becomes more apparent with each passing poll. Of the last dozen, 11 show Republican nominee Donald Trump kicking Joe Biden’s derriere by a high of eight points to a low of one in a three-way match-up. Just one has Biden up by two. Meanwhile, the 70-year-old Kennedy continues his bid to become the next president of the United States or — at the very least – spoiler-in-chief.

RFK Jr. Once Met a Girl Named Maria

A recurrent optic from the State of the Union address is Jill Biden and Maria Shriver clasping hands in victory. It was a photo that did not need a caption and signified for everyone with a dysfunctional family that they are not alone. Shriver, RFK Jr.’s first cousin, is hardly the only Kennedy backing Biden’s re-election. No less than three members of his extended family serve the president in official capacities: Nephew Joe is a special envoy to Northern Ireland, cousin Caroline is the US ambassador to Australia, and widow of his Uncle Ted, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, is ambassador to Austria.

Jill Biden and Maria Shriver

Jill Biden and Maria Shriver (Credit: Shriver’s X Account)

It’s nothing new for Kennedys to avail themselves of the Democratic Party gravy train, but their vociferous support for Biden over a member of their own family does appear more than a bit tawdry. But then again, it could be said – beginning with Grandpa Joe – that the Kennedys come from a long line of tawdry types. Fast forward to today, and some members of RFK Jr.’s family can’t queue up fast enough to denounce a member of the clan. Cousin Jack Schlossberg (Caroline Kennedy’s son) couldn’t resist the temptation to speak out on his Instagram account. He stuck in the knife by saying, “He’s trading in on Camelot, celebrity, conspiracy theories, and conflict for personal gain and fame,” then, twisting deeper, “I’ve listened to him. I know him. I have no idea why anyone thinks he should be president.”

However, RFK Jr. does not need his family to trash him, because the media is stepping all over one another to do him dirty. The ubiquitous Rolling Stone magazine recently wrote about the “Trump megadonors, venture capitalists, and celebrities” who are backing Kennedy ostensibly to assist the former president in vanquishing Biden.

Rolling Stone claims that Kennedy megadonors like Timothy Mellon, Papa John Pizza CEO John Schnatter, and financier Omeed Malik are pouring millions into an RFK Jr. political action committee for the express purpose of aiding and abetting Trump’s goal to regain the presidency. Whether this is true or not doesn’t appear to faze Kennedy or hinder him in his quest for the highest office in the land — an office that his father sought when he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet.

Anticipating a three-way race in some of these battleground states has Democrats working overtime to delegitimize RFK Jr.’s candidacy. To date, the ostracized Kennedy has enough support to get on the ballots in Nevada, Utah, New Hampshire, and Hawaii. More importantly, he’s expected to gain enough signatures in Georgia, South Carolina, and Arizona to have his name appear along with Biden and Trump. Not only that, but should he decide to take a walk on the wild side and go libertarian, the Libertarian Party is a one-stop-shop for ballot access in all 50 states.

Such as it is, there are still options aplenty for the son of Robert F. Kennedy as his political power begins to ramp up despite all the vitriol coming from the Democratic Party apparatchiks, their media satraps, and members of his extended family. In a way, the fact that RFK Jr. doesn’t seem to care what these three communities say about him represents something much more significant than faded parallels to Camelot.

Read More From Leesa K. Donner

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