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August 3, 2023

There Is Another Kennedy on the Horizon

Why is the Biden administration refusing him Secret Service protection?

WASHINGTON — What has happened to the Democratic Party? Its elites have only one old codger running for the highest office in the land. The Republicans have at least a dozen, and one of them has held the presidency once already. He is Donald Trump, and some polls have him ahead of the old codger. By the way, the codger is really old. He is 80, and after him there is only Vice President Kamala Harris. All indications are that she is too young to be president.

Now there is one fellow who has announced his availability, and he has a familiar name. That is to say he has name recognition. He is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and doubtless he is out campaigning even as you read this feuilleton. I see no reason for him not to be running, though the elites snub him. Just the other day, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary for Homeland Security, declared, “I have determined that Secret Service protection for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not warranted at this time.” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is, of course, the third son of Robert F. Kennedy Sr., who was assassinated in 1968 pursuing the same office that his son now covets. Psychiatrists, of course, would tell Mayorkas that the violent manner in which Robert F. Kennedy Sr. was gunned down is all the more reason that his son should not be denied Secret Service protection on the campaign trail — and do not tell me Mayorkas is unfamiliar with the psychiatrists’ arts. I have observed his squirrely countenance on television.

The fate of Robert F. Kennedy Sr. is very much on his son’s mind and that of Robert’s sisters and other sons. Shortly after Mayorkas’ asseveration, Kennedy Jr. asserted that ,“Since the assassination of my father in 1968, candidates for president are provided Secret Service protection. But not me.”

Dennis Kucinich, the campaign manager for the younger Kennedy’s campaign, was more direct. He said, “The American people, no matter their politics, will find this decision shocking and repugnant. This is obviously a political decision, not a legal one. As such, this is directly on President Biden. It is absolutely implausible that the President would try to claim that he was not consulted by his cabinet secretary on a matter as sensitive as this. President Biden is now to be held personally accountable for denying Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Secret Service Protection. The Biden administration has clearly politicized the once-independent Justice Department and security apparatus.”

Yet the White House is treating Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as though he were not in the race. They are ignoring him. It reminds me of how the White House ignored another young man until very recently, Hunter Biden. Hunter is now in a heap of trouble for the cavalier way the White House treated his problems. For that matter, his father might be, too. It would be ironic if Kennedy’s campaign were actually to gain momentum because of how the White House is ignoring him. He is actually running second behind the president, and the last time I looked, he was gaining on the president. In some tests, he is polling at 20%.

In the press he is also gaining attention. New York magazine recently devoted an astonishing amount of attention to Kennedy for a presidential challenger who has just begun campaigning. But then, with his attention-getting last name, he is bound to do well with the press. A Kennedy always makes a good story. Among the bouquets that were thrown his way by the writer Rebecca Traister was, “He is running a surprisingly potent campaign.” My guess is that he will be running an even better campaign in a month or so.

Robert F. Kennedy Sr. running in 1968 ran as a liberal on some issues, but he also ran as a conservative on others. People frequently miss this point, but in my book that is coming out this fall, “How Do We Get Out Of Here?” I make this point very emphatically. In my early observations of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., I see evidence of the Kennedy of yore. The year 2024 could be the year polarization ends, if the Democratic elites will allow it.

Glory to Ukraine!


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