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A blue-eyed Kennedy is operating for president. What may go incorrect?

by Patricia Murphy

Throughout the Oval Workplace from President Joe Biden’s high-quality mahogany desk sits a small, discreet bust of Robert Kennedy, the brother of President John Kennedy and the person whom Biden calls a hero and his North Star for insurance policies that deal with the very best pursuits of individuals.

Now the eldest son of Robert Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is mounting a presidential problem to Biden. What started as a type of nuisance problem within the Democratic major rapidly morphed into an impartial presidential bid — and a possible downside for each Biden and former President Donald Trump. Along with his well-known title and none-of-the-above platform, Kennedy simply posted a wholesome 22% share of the vote in two latest nationwide polls that examined a three-way race between Kennedy, Biden and Trump.

It’s not precisely clear who Kennedy would injury probably the most since his hodgepodge of insurance policies appear to attract as a lot from Trump’s COVID skeptics as Biden’s progressive base. Add to {that a} plurality of impartial voters, as Kennedy did in these polls, and also you’ve bought a possible race in your fingers.

A number of issues need to occur for an impartial candidate to really change into viable in a presidential contest in America, not the least of which is getting onto the poll in all 50 states.

However Kennedy has made it clear in a number of interviews lately that Georgia is one in all 5 battleground states he’s most targeted on. It could shock you to know that he’s already been to Georgia extra this yr than Trump and Biden mixed.

Since launching his impartial bid, Kennedy stumped in Duluth and Atlanta in September, in Augusta in October and in Savannah simply final week. Together with the query of whether or not he’ll really be on the 2024 poll, which would require hundreds of Georgians’ signatures, the larger query for voters contemplating him is … who is that this man?

We all know he’s bought the well-known final title and blue eyes of the Kennedys, however is he an eccentric kook, as he’s usually portrayed within the press, or an impartial’s’ savior? He’s supplied a path of clues throughout his visits right here to date.

At first look, or hear, the raspy-voiced lawyer’s declarations may very well be music to any impartial’s ears.

“I’m not doing this to serve some want for my ego, I’m doing this as a result of I do know I can change this nation and produce it again,” he instructed attendees at his Duluth rally. “The best way they maintain us from doing it’s they’ve us all preventing one another. They flip Blacks towards whites…they flip Democrats towards Republicans, at one another’s throats.”

At that occasion and others he targeted closely on financial points like dwelling possession, which many citizens below 30 may let you know feels extra out of attain than ever.

“The American dream has changed into a nightmare,” he says in a single social media submit. “When Individuals change into renters, we go from residents to serfs on our personal land, the place the massive pictures personal all of the land and all of the properties.”

However alongside along with his impartial message and middle-class mantra, he’s additionally bought greater than the common bear’s stage of conspiracy-adjacent language.

Unfold throughout his message of unity are numerous “theys” — the bankers and the billionaires he stated are behind almost all the things incorrect in America over the past 50 years, from the Vietnam Warfare to 9/11 to COVID.

Amazon bought to shut its rivals throughout COVID, he stated in Duluth, after which they censored his e-book that detailed all of it.

In Augusta, he stated, “My uncle realized that the aim of the intelligence companies was to supply us a pipeline of fixed wars. We’re hooked on it.”

And what in regards to the vaccines? He stated in a latest interview on The NewsHour that his place as an anti-vaxxer has been overblown by the press. He stated in the identical interview he considers all abortions a tragedy, however that the choice ought to stick with girls. He stated he’d “seal” the Southern border and create a common “passport card” for all Individuals to simply show their work standing at jobs.

So is he great? Or a weirdo? His members of the family appear to assume he’s the latter.

On the day he introduced he’d swapped from a Democratic bid to an impartial bid, which may flip him right into a spoiler for Joe Biden, his siblings referred to as his run towards Biden harmful for the nation.

“Bobby may share the identical title as our father,” they wrote in a press release. “However he doesn’t share the identical values, imaginative and prescient or judgment. Right this moment’s announcement is deeply saddening for us. We denounce his candidacy and consider it to be perilous for our nation.”

His nephew, Jack Schlosberg accused him of “buying and selling in on Camelot, celeb, conspiracy theories and battle for private acquire and fame.”

They’re all voting for Biden. However they’re not talking for all Individuals and even all Democrats.

May he be a spoiler? In fact. However he doesn’t appear to care.

“The Democrats are frightened that I’m going to spoil the election for President Biden, and the Republicans are frightened that I’m going to spoil it for Trump,” stated RFK Jr. at his announcement rally. “My intention is to spoil it for each of them.”

There’s no strategy to know now whether or not Kennedy would be the subsequent Ralph Nader, the following Ross Perot, or larger or lower than them each.

However he’s sitting excessive sufficient within the polls now that Biden and Trump ought to perceive that Robert Kennedy’s son isn’t glad with being within the background within the Oval Workplace. He desires to be out entrance.

Patricia Murphy joined The Atlanta Journal-Structure’s politics group in 2020 from CQ-Roll Name, the place she was a nationally syndicated political columnist.