Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has announced that wealthy attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan will be joining his campaign as his vice presidential pick. Shanahan, like Kennedy, has never run for elected office but has contributed to his campaign and super PAC. Kennedy made the announcement at an event in Shanahan’s hometown of Oakland, citing her diverse background and experience in tech and advocacy as reasons for choosing her as his running mate.

In her address, Shanahan criticized the Democratic Party, stating that it has lost its way and that she was formally leaving it behind. She also focused on concerns over the U.S. food supply and expressed skepticism of medicine and vaccines, questioning the safety of multiple prescriptions and shots throughout childhood. Additionally, Shanahan raised concerns about “electromagnetic pollution” and the health effects of 5G and Wi-Fi signals, aligning with Kennedy’s causes.

Kennedy’s campaign faces challenges in navigating different rules for getting on state ballots, with deadlines approaching quickly. Despite this, he is polling better than other third-party candidates and could play a significant role in swing states if on the ballot in the fall. However, both Trump and Biden supporters criticized Kennedy after the announcement. Trump’s spokesman called Kennedy a “far-left radical,” while a Michigan state senator accused him of picking Shanahan solely for her ability to fund his campaign.

Kennedy considered several potential running mates before selecting Shanahan, including notable figures like Aaron Rodgers and Tulsi Gabbard. Shanahan’s involvement in an attention-grabbing Super Bowl ad supporting Kennedy and her contributions to his super PAC played a role in his decision. Shanahan’s past involvement in the tech industry and advocacy work, including founding a company focused on intellectual property management and her foundation’s mission to address various social issues, have prepared her for the role.

Shanahan’s personal life, including her marriage to Google co-founder Sergey Brin and divorce in 2022, has been a subject of media scrutiny. She has denied accusations of an affair with billionaire Elon Musk. Shanahan’s foundation focuses on issues she cares about, including reproductive longevity, criminal justice reform, and a healthy planet. Her motivation to support Kennedy stems from concerns about children’s health and the environment, including vaccines, aligning with Kennedy’s anti-vaccine activism.

Kennedy’s event featured speakers like Del Bigtree, an anti-vaccine activist, and Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya, who opposes Covid mitigation measures. Angela Stanton-King, a former GOP congressional candidate, and Trump pardon recipient also spoke at the event, making controversial statements about various social issues. By selecting Shanahan as his running mate, Kennedy aims to elevate his campaign and address critical issues facing the nation, focusing on unifying values rather than divisions in American society.

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