RFK Jr. Makes His VP Pick

Kennedy selects Silicon Valley lawyer and investor Nicole Shanahan
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2024 10:20 AM CDT
Updated Mar 26, 2024 2:45 PM CDT
RFK Jr. Hopes to Gain Traction With VP Pick
Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)
UPDATE Mar 26, 2024 2:45 PM CDT

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did indeed pick attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan to be his 2024 running mate, reports CNN. Kennedy announced his pick at a rally in Oakland, California, on Tuesday. Shanahan has never before run for office. "Nicole and I both left the Democratic Party," Kennedy said, per the AP. "Our values didn't change. The Democratic Party did." The BBC reports that Kennedy described the 38-year-old Shanahan, ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, as somebody with an insider knowledge of Big Tech.

Mar 26, 2024 10:20 AM CDT

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announces his VP pick Tuesday in his independent run for president, and multiple reports say he has settled on Silicon Valley lawyer and investor Nicole Shanahan. Mediaite first had the story, and the New York Times now reports Kennedy will indeed pick the 38-year-old.

  • About her: Shanahan is described by the Hill as a Democratic "mega-donor," though she helped pay for the independent Kennedy's retro Super Bowl ad. She's the founder and president of Bia-Echo Foundation and the ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. She started the patent analytics company ClearAccessIP in 2013, which was acquired by IPwe in 2020, per Axios.
  • Vaccines: Kennedy has voiced skepticism of vaccines, and Shanahan, while saying she is "not an anti-vaxxer," was in sync with some of his views on the matter, notes the Times. "I do think that the increase of vaccine-related injuries is very alarming, and I do think we need to understand the screening mechanisms," she tells the newspaper.

  • A boost? Kennedy is hoping for a bump in attention and donations with his VP selection, per the Hill. As a bonus, Shanahan's deep pockets "would theoretically bring more money to put toward his ballot access effort," per the story, which details how expensive it is to run an independent campaign.
  • Biden/Trump: Axios reports that President Biden's campaign is more worried about Kennedy than Donald Trump's campaign is. So much so that "it's built an entire operation dedicated to attacking Kennedy." Trump's team, on the other hand, suspects for now that Kennedy would take more votes from Biden than Trump and is fine to watch how things unfold.
  • Musk scandal: One bit of scandal surrounds Shanahan. She split with Brin in 2021, following what the Wall Street Journal described as a "brief affair" with none other than Elon Musk. However, Shanahan subsequently told People that her relationship with Musk was never more than platonic.
(Aaron Rodgers was another name in contention.)

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