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Kimberly Black / Gavel Media

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Announces 2024 Presidential Candidacy Against Biden

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, has announced that he will be challenging President Joe Biden for the 2024 election’s Democratic nomination. Kennedy’s bid for the presidency has been called a “long shot” by the New York Times mainly due to his public support of conspiracy theories including Covid-19 vaccine skepticism. 

Kennedy announced his presidential campaign at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and gave a long speech highlighting the accomplishments of his family and their history in Boston. He strongly appealed to his supporters’ concerns over the Covid-19 vaccines and vaccines in general, as well as criticizing the country’s shutdown during the early pandemic and American involvement in the war in Ukraine. 

Other members of the Kennedy family have long condemned the newfound candidate for contributing to the myth that vaccines cause autism in children and for being at multiple conservative rallies and events supporting the January 6 capitol riot. Between his fringe views and the relative unpopularity of the other candidate challenging Biden for the nomination, Marianne Willamson, Biden is currently the strong favorite to win the primary. 

Like Kennedy, Williamson has faced criticism in the past for making “anti-vax” (anti-vaccine) statements but has since rescinded them and currently supports the Covid-19 vaccine. Unlike Kennedy, she is far more left-leaning than Biden, and supports policies such as reparations to the black community, raising the federal minimum wage to $15, repealing tax cuts to the very wealthy, and making all public colleges free

Before entering politics, Williamson authored many self-help books and is known for being a “spiritual guru” to Oprah. She ran for the nomination in 2020 but withdrew shortly before the votes were cast. 

Beyond Kennedy and Williamson, Biden has to reckon with several Republican challengers including former President Donald Trump. Trump is currently facing criminal charges for paying adult film star Stormy Daniels to be quiet about an affair they had and then falsifying the payment as a business expense. He also faces investigation in several states for tax fraud, possession of and refusal to return classified documents, and inciting the January 6 attack on the capitol. 

Eyes are also on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a potential Republican candidate and threat to Biden’s reelection. DeSantis has yet to announce a bid for the White House but analysts believe he may have a chance due to his national prominence and strong connection with the MAGA Republican base.

Although Biden is the favorite to win the Democratic primary and has a strong bid for the presidency, he has a few weaknesses that could potentially jeopardize his reelection. He has complaints from both sides, with many Democrats criticizing his recent approval of the Willow Project (an oil-drilling project in Alaska that will have major environmental effects) and Republicans concerned with his handling of the economy and the subsequent rise in inflation. Both parties have expressed concern about his age, as Biden is currently the oldest president in American history and would be 86 years old at the end of a second term.

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