Kennedy reveals his choice of Nicole Shanahan, a tech entrepreneur and leftist philanthropist, as his vice presidential candidate

 March 27, 2024

Amid all of the speculative focus on who former President Donald Trump might eventually pick as his running mate, the media largely ignored the more pressing quest of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for a vice presidential candidate of his own.

That search ended on Tuesday when Kennedy announced that he had selected tech attorney, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Nicole Shanahan to be his running mate in November's election, Fox News reported.

Shanahan, 38, a lifelong Democrat who supports numerous leftist causes, has been a big financial backer of Kennedy's independent run for the presidency, including a $4 million donation to the Kennedy-aligned super PAC that aired a 1960s-style JFK-themed ad for Kennedy's candidacy that aired during the Super Bowl in February.

Kennedy announces his choice

Fox News reported that Kennedy announced his choice of Shanahan as his running mate during an event in her hometown of Oakland, California, and praised her as "a partner with strong ideas of how to reverse those dire threats to democracy and to our freedoms. I managed to find a technologist at the forefront of AI. She has spent the last decade relying on neural networks, artificial intelligence, and cutting-edge science, to identify abuses in our government."

He further heralded his new sidekick as "a woman who grew up right here in Oakland. The daughter of migrants who overcame every daunting obstacle and went on to achieve the highest levels of the American dream" as well as "a fellow lawyer, a brilliant scientist, technologist, a fierce warrior mom."

For her part, Shanahan, like Kennedy, denounced the Democratic Party and explained to the crowd why she had decided to leave it and declare her political independence. She said, "The Democratic Party is supposed to be the party of compassion. It is supposed to be the party of free speech, and most importantly, the party of the middle class and the American dream."

"While I know many Democrats still abide by those values … I do believe they've lost their way in their leadership," she added as she also urged other "disillusioned" voters, Democrats and Republicans alike, to similarly ditch their respective parties and throw their support behind Kennedy's independent bid for the presidency.

Shanahan's background as a Democrat and donor

According to Politico, Shanahan is the daughter of a Chinese immigrant mother and a white American father who was born and raised in Oakland and was previously married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, with whom she has an autistic daughter, before they were divorced.

She currently manages a non-profit organization known as Bia-Echo that focuses on women's reproductive rights, criminal justice reform, and environmentalism, and separately focuses much of her attention on searching for a cure or treatments for autism.

Politically, Shanahan has long been a financial backer of prominent Democratic candidates, including the past several presidential nominees and some of their primary competitors, along with the Democratic National Committee, though she quickly shifted her support to Kennedy once he entered the race with a maximum donation to his campaign and substantial contributions to multiple Kennedy-affiliated PACs.

The reason for Kennedy picking Shanahan as his running mate at such a seemingly early stage in the election year, according to the Associated Press, is because Kennedy, as an independent candidate without the backing of a major party, must have a vice presidential candidate by his side to qualify to appear on the ballot in nearly half of the states.

Democrats and Trump lambast RFK and Shanahan ... for different reasons

Politico reported that Democrats wasted little time in attacking Kennedy and Shanahan over their purported anti-vaccine views and the "danger" they posed in siphoning votes away from President Joe Biden in sufficient numbers to help former President Trump win the election.

Per the AP, a spokesman for a Trump-aligned super PAC said in a statement, "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a far-left radical that supports reparations, backs the Green New Deal, and wants to ban fracking," and added of Shanahan, "It’s no surprise he would pick a Biden donor leftist as his running mate."

As for Trump himself, he wrote in a Truth Social post, "RFK Jr. is the most Radical Left Candidate in the race, by far. He’s a big fan of the Green New Scam, and other economy killing disasters. I guess this would mean he is going to be taking votes from Crooked Joe Biden, which would be a great service to America."

"His running mate, Nicole Shanahan, is even more 'Liberal' than him, if that’s possible. Kennedy is a Radical Left Democrat, and always will be!!!" he added. "It’s great for MAGA, but the Communists will make it very hard for him to get on the Ballot. Expect him, and her, to be indicted any day now, probably for Environmental Fraud! He is Crooked Joe Biden’s Political Opponent, not mine. I love that he is running!"

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