RFK Names Running Mate 

U. J. Alexander / shutterstock.com
U. J. Alexander / shutterstock.com

Despite Team Biden’s efforts to squash any challengers, one stubbornly refuses to withdraw from the race. And to add to Biden’s woes, this rival is poised to siphon votes away from him. 

As the battle between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden heats up, few are paying attention to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., allowing this long-shot candidate to campaign quietly. The Independent candidate seems to hold a reliable 10%, give or take a few percentage points. Ten percent is unlikely to pull him over the finish line in November, but it is enough to cause Biden headaches. 

After sifting through many high-profile and somewhat odd candidates, including wrestler Jesse Ventura, Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, RFK has chosen entrepreneur and lawyer Nicole Shanahan as his running mate. 

Born in Placer County, California, the 38-year-old Shanahan spent her childhood in Oakland. Growing up, Shanahan experienced hardship, relying on welfare and facing limited resources. Her father, who battled bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, passed away in 2014. Her mother, originally from Guangzhou City, China, worked tirelessly, transitioning from being a maid to becoming an accountant, all while providing for the family.  

Shanahan graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a focus on Asian studies, economics, and Mandarin. In 2014, she earned a law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. 

Shanahan founded and served as CEO of ClearAccessIP, a legal tech company headquartered in Palo Alto. She was married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin from 2018 until their divorce in 2023. She is the mother of a young child with autism, although she blames “environmental factors” rather than vaccines, as RFK has been known to do. 

She is known for her philanthropy, notably establishing the Bia-Echo private foundation in 2019. Bia-Echo is working to “speed up positive societal changes” and “build a fair and equal world” for the future. 

Shanahan paid for over half of RFK’s $7 million Super Bowl ad, hoping, she said, to prove that the campaign was viable. This has fueled speculation that her deep pockets make her especially appealing to the RFK campaign. It’s a premise Kennedy rejects, saying, “I would never choose a vice presidential candidate based on how much money they have.” 

But Shanahan represents the rags-to-riches story that Americans love, and her new role as running mate to the eccentric, lovable, and popular RFK will surely draw the attention of Democrats. It’s hard to smear someone like Shanahan, but if history is any indication, Team Biden is already checking her closets for scandals…or ready to make up a few themselves.