The Morning Briefing: A Quick Ride on the RFK Jr Third Party Unicorn Distraction

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Happy Tuesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. (The Sine Qua Non Sequitur is on hiatus and will return sometime before Easter.)

The 2024 United States presidential election offers a host of lamentable aspects, not the least of which is, “These two guys again?!?!?” 

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There is a lot of malaise cascading all about the place when thinking of a Donald Trump and Joe Biden rematch in the general election. They’re the two guys from the COVID election after all, and any similarities to 2020 make it feel like March of that year has never ended. 

Most American voters have resigned themselves to the fact that it will, in fact, be Biden and Trump facing off in November, and have picked one already. There are so many variables at play this year, however, that it’s become popular for people to entertain alternative scenarios about how the American political landscape might change in the next nine months. 

For example, Joe Biden looks like he might not be able to make it to breakfast tomorrow morning, let alone still be standing in November. Then there are Donald Trump’s legal problems. Will one or more of the Democrats’ perversions of justice succeed in getting him off of the ballot and into jail? 

Seriously, how drunk is this country right now? 

Because the potential for normalcy to be blown out of the water even worse than it was in 2020, a lot of people are willing to stretch the boundaries of credulity when pondering the viability of candidates not named Trump or Biden. 

There are still wealthy squish (read: Bush leftovers) Republican establishment types who truly believe that Nikki Haley can be the nominee if they can just keep her financially afloat until Trump gets perp walked. It should be noted here that wealthy Republican establishment types haven’t had their fingers on the pulse of the GOP electorate since before VHS tapes. 

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The “Gosh, why can’t things be magically different?” sentiment is also fueling whatever support Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has. 

A popular fantasy on the Right is that RFK Jr. is going to siphon votes away from Biden, thereby helping Trump in the general election. A case could also be made that he might act as a convenient protest vote for Never Trump Republicans who can’t grow out of their pathetic political toddler phases before November. It does seem that there may be many ways that RFK Jr. could muck up the works.

Or he might simply be a silly non-factor who is only sticking around this long because his last name is Kennedy. 

Our own VodkaPundit took a look at the latest “Cool story, bro,” hype surrounding RFK Jr.’s inexplicable candidacy (while paying homage to “Jumping the Shark”): 

Forgive me for missing this next item a week ago when it happened, but I can only read so many news stories each day. Besides, news searches for “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.” are not at the top of my To Do list.

Kennedy has one more leap to make, one more shark to jump.

Even with metric craptons of money, which even Kennedy might not be able to raise, it isn’t easy for a third-party or independent candidate to get on the ballots of all 50 states plus D.C. Without that ballot access, Kennedy’s chances of getting 34% of the vote quickly decline from “not very likely” to “ain’t gonna happen.” So far, Kennedy has only qualified for the ballot in Utah. One down, 50 to go.

That’s why Kennedy said last week — and, again, please forgive me for missing this howler when it broke — that he is “looking at” running on the Libertarian ticket. 

This is when Fonzie starts putting on his swim trunks and waterskis.

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I missed that too last week but, in my defense, I drink even more beer than usual when I’m stuck in these cold winter places. 

It may be a fun political parlor game to speculate about what kind of impact RFK Jr. might have on the race this year but it’s pretty safe to say that he’s not going to move the needle if he’s only on the ballot in Utah. 

This extremely longshot situation isn’t keeping people from pretending it might be otherwise though. There was a lengthy feature story on RFK Jr. on one of the local Detroit newscasts on Monday night. It made it sound as if he’d already achieved spoiler status. 

Like it or not, sports fans, it is almost certainly going to be a reboot of the Joey and Donny show next November. True, nothing in life is guaranteed, but it’s all a lot smoother when one goes with the good odds. Those odds tell me that RFK Jr. and Nikki Haley will probably be sharing a CNN green room next year at this time. 

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