If the shocking 2016 presidential election of Donald J. Trump taught us anything, it should be that voters can still be unpredictable and unpredictable, and that millions of them believe that the entrenched elites from both political parties are no longer hearing their voices or speaking for them.
Voters are constantly looking for a new champion. Could Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. be a champion? I believe so – at least as far as the Democratic primary process is concerned.
If that process is final and all the votes from the primaries and caucuses are tabulated, I believe Kennedy will emerge as the Democratic nominee for president in 2024.
Know the laugh and pejoratives. Most are from the left. Some are from the right. In our increasingly polarized times, everything seems to be viewed through the prisms of ideology, tribalism, anger, hatred and the outright rejection of voices that oppose our own. But if we choose to lower those often distorted prisms and open our eyes, there are still facts, figures and pragmatic reasons why the least obvious (or the most ridiculous) may still be the right answer. .
My first reason for predicting a Kennedy nomination is that I’m still not convinced that President Joe Biden will actually run for reelection, mainly because of concerns about his aging and the prospect of declining thinking.
As for Biden’s age being an obstacle to a 2024 campaign, we got this from former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who was asked about it at the Financial Times Weekend Festival: “His age is an issue. And the people have every right to consider it.”
In a Quinnipiac poll out this week, 65 percent of voters said they thought Biden, 80, was too old for a second term. That’s one segment that may continue to rise.
But for now, Biden has expressed his intention to run for reelection. And therein lies reason number two why I believe Kennedy will be the nominee. The longer Biden stays in the race, the more he hurts the chances of undeclared Democratic opponents such as Vice President Kamala Harris, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg or even former First Lady Michelle Obama .
While Biden allowed other potential candidates to squirm in the air, Kennedy continued to crisscross the country taking almost every media opportunity he was given – even and especially those on the right, like Fox News and New York Post.
Of course, one of the reasons Kennedy appeared in conservative outlets was because many of the now-activist mainstream media refused to give him a platform.
Back in 1975 and 1976, when former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter ran his longshot campaign for the White House, some in the media also refused to give him a platform. But they did so because they ignorantly dismissed his campaign as a joke, not because they were personally or ideologically opposed to his policies.
Today, many in the media refused to air Kennedy because they were angry that he dared to question the lockdowns, masking and vaccine orders that came into being after the COVID-19 virus. Also, I believe many of them are running interference for the Biden White House.
But again, there is a real danger in viewing the political process with ideological blinders permanently affixed to your face. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch recently used a statement in a lawsuit over the Title 42 public health order to provide a scathing look at how civil liberties are being trampled at the time. of COVID.
The US, he wrote, may have “experienced the greatest interference with civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country…. Governors and local leaders imposed lockdown orders to force people to stay in their homes. They closed businesses and schools, public and private. They closed churches even as they allowed casinos and other preferred businesses to continue. They threaten violators not only with civil penalties but with criminal penalties as well.
Many on the left who now condemn Kennedy as an “anti-vaxxer” would have no problem with these draconian actions. But guess what? Tens of millions of Americans did and still do.
These Americans will be very open to listening to Kennedy’s voice as he barnstorms the country in the face of a liberal media blackout.
The next reason why I believe Kennedy will prevail is that he is far from the “one issue” candidate that some in the media believe him to be. He addresses many issues that most voters want addressed – issues that have raised the quality of their lives for years.
Kennedy’s “ace in the hole” may have been his simplified campaign message: “Tell the truth.” He vowed to roll up his sleeves like his dad did in the 1960s and talk to people.
Next, because of the Kennedy name combined with his self-proclaimed ideals, RFK Jr. will make huge inroads among Black, Hispanic and disenfranchised voters – a large part of the Democratic base.
After Kennedy met with the editorial board of the New York Post, the editors wrote: “Kennedy has real conviction and charisma, and he is extremely independent of most of the reigning pieties of the party – all of which should appeal.”
His message should be especially appealing considering the most recent Monmouth University poll found that only 16 percent of respondents said the US is headed in the right direction.
The Post’s editorial headline read: “Biden is a moron who ignored RFK Jr.’s challenge.” To that list of “morons” I would add the activist media and the Democratic Party. Despise him all you want, but Kennedy is already voting 20 percent against Biden as his pragmatic voice continues to reach many Americans looking for a champion.
Douglas MacKinnon, a political and communications consultant, was a White House writer for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, and a former special assistant for policy and communications at the Pentagon for the last three years of the Bush administration.
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