How the right’s elevation of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. could now backfire

By | October 1, 2023

Aaron Blake writes:

The American right’s efforts to elevate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. were as transparent as they were cynical. The idea, as advanced by Stephen K. Bannon and the like, was clearly to try to embarrass President Biden in the Democratic primary. So they used Kennedy’s inflated early poll standing as an excuse to treat the primary challenge from a fringe figure as something real and threatening.

Fox News picked up the ball and ran with it, publishing many dozens of stories and featuring him regularly on-air. House Republicans even invited him to testify on Capitol Hill.

It hasn’t worked. And now, it’s looking as if the whole thing could backfire.

The latest indications are that Kennedy will end his Democratic primary challenge against Biden and instead run in the general election. Mediaite reported Friday that he will declare an independent bid on Oct. 9, and Kennedy is now teasing a major announcement on that date, while saying and doing the kinds of things that suggest Mediaite’s report is accurate.

(Asked to comment on whether the report was true, Kennedy’s campaign merely responded with a link to a video previewing his Oct. 9 announcement.)

And while Kennedy is a lifelong Democrat from the country’s preeminent Democratic family, there is plenty of reason to believe that a third-party bid could hurt Donald Trump more than Biden. [Continue reading…]

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