The Morning Briefing: The RFK Jr. Running Mate Nonsense Was a Welcome Break on a Dark Day

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Happy Wednesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Ganrumiith had a nagging fear that his uncanny knowledge of “Alf” trivia would one day be misconstrued in couples’ therapy. 


The first bit of news that I consumed yesterday was the eerie and disturbing video of the ship hitting the bridge in Baltimore. The coffee hadn’t kicked in yet, so I just kept watching it and marveling at how consistently crappy and tragic everything is these days. 

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My good friend Kevin Downey Jr. must have been feeling my vibe from across the country, because he wrote something about the you-know-what show we see all around us. 

As I settled in for what I expected to be extra helpings of bleakness in the news cycle, I saw the news about Robert F. Kennedy Jr. picking a running mate. 

Our long national waiting nightmare was over. 

While full of drama, the 2024 presidential election primary season has been light on surprises and distracting side stories. Since the Democrats weren’t debating this year, we didn’t get to enjoy hearing Marianne Williamson go into great detail about how her foreign policy initiatives would be carried out by Celtic fairies bearing elderflower tea and sustainably sourced vegan bon-bons. 

RFK Jr. has provided a bit of a sideshow these past several months. The Democrats have obviously been freaked out by his presence in the race. He may not be mainstream, but he’s still a Kennedy. Who knows how many dead Chicagoans will reflexively vote for just the name, right? 

At a mere 70 years old, Kennedy is the diaper-wearing whippersnapper in the 2024 race. His prostate is barely big enough to even be at the table. 


Because nothing is allowed to make sense anymore, there was a curious amount of talk in center-right circles about whether Donald Trump should pick RFK Jr. as his running mate. I’m hoping those people were concussed and are feeling better now. 

Kennedy had captured the fancy of some libertarians and conservatives because of his very vocal skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccines. On pretty much every other issue, however, RFK Jr. is on the far-left fringes of the universe. 

Which brings us to his running mate. Matt covered the story yesterday:

Speculation can finally end as sources reveal that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has selected Nicole Shanahan, a California attorney, as his vice presidential candidate for his campaign.

In addition to being an attorney, Shanahan, 38, runs a foundation dedicated to left-wing causes like abortion rights, criminal justice reform, and fighting climate change.

Shanahan’s political donation history gets worse, as Matt chronicles in his post. Suffice it to say that RFK Jr. didn’t seem to be interested in siphoning off any Republican votes with this pick. 

Some may wonder why Kennedy didn’t pick a running mate with greater name recognition. He’s already got the greatest name recognition in American politics; he didn’t really need a boost in that department. 

I just hope that Kennedy continues to be a mild source of dyspepsia for the Biden administration. If there is an angle for him to become a major source, then godspeed. 


Somewhere in the distance, Marianne Williamson communes with hummingbirds at the feeder. 

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