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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. unveils millionaire lawyer Nicole Shanahan as his VP pick: Independent introduces ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy announced Tuesdsay that millionaire lawyer Nicole Shanahan was his running mate. 

In her hometown of Oakland, California, Kennedy teased who he had picked before bringing Shanahan onstage – noting that his pick was a woman, an avid surfer, who possessed the ‘gift of curiosity’ and had ‘a deep love of the United States of America.’

Upon naming Shanahan, the independent hopeful said that her most important attribute was her age – 38 – as he wanted a younger generation represented.

‘In this moment, I am leaving the Democratic Party,’ Shanahan said, sporting a purple blazer, often the color associated with the political middle, as she officially joined Kennedy’s independent ticket.

Ahead of the announcement a wide cast of characters were mentioned as part of the veepstakes.

New York Jets player Aaron Rodgers, rapper Killer Mike, ex-wrestler and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, former Democratic presidential hopefuls Andrew Yang and ex-Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe, life coach Tony Robbins, Republican Sen. Rand Paul, former Republican Sen. Scott Brown, Libertarian podcaster Dave Smith and Tricia Lindsay, a GOP candidate for state Senate in New York were all referenced.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Running mate Nicole Shanahan

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (left) announced Tuesday that Nicole Shanahan (right) was his vice presidential pick 

Nicole Shanahan, 38, addresses Kennedy supporters in her hometown of Oakland, California after officially joining the independent's presidential ticket

Nicole Shanahan, 38, addresses Kennedy supporters in her hometown of Oakland, California after officially joining the independent’s presidential ticket 

Supporters of independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. cheer ahead of his vice presidential announcement Tuesday morning in Oakland, California

Supporters of independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. cheer ahead of his vice presidential announcement Tuesday morning in Oakland, California 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (right) was introduced by his wife Cheryl Hines (left), an actress on Curb Your Enthusiasm

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (right) was introduced by his wife Cheryl Hines (left), an actress on Curb Your Enthusiasm 

By Tuesday it was widely expected to be Shanahan – as RFK Jr. teased that he wanted to add a young, fresh face to his ticket. 

Shanahan fit the bill – holding a law degree and launching a company in her 20s while still pursuing her JD.

She lists among her hobbies paddle boarding, snowboarding, swimming, running, yoga and surfing. 

Shanahan met her second husband, Google co-founder Sergey Brin at a Lake Tahoe yoga retreat and bonded with her current partner Jacob Strumwasse at Burning Man where they discussed their shared love of surfing. 

Kennedy had gathered supporters Tuesday at the 110-year-old Henry J. Kaiser Center in Oakland, Shanahan’s hometown to announce her as his pick. 

His wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm actress actress Cheryl Hines, introduced him – asking those in the audience to keep those impacted by the Baltimore bridge collapse in their minds. 

Hines spoke about how her husband, ‘Bobby,’ was bringing together Americans from all political stripes.  

‘And America is listening and is inspired,’ she said. 

Kennedy and his wife embraced onstage and then the candidate took the podium for more than 35 minutes before inviting Shanahan to come out. 

After a video highlighting some of Shanahan’s backstory the new VP candidate was introduced.

She spoke of her poor upbringing – the daughter of a Chinese immigrant mom and a German-Irish American father who suffered from mental health struggles. 

‘I don’t think we would have made it without food stamps and government help,’ she said. 

Shanahan also talked about going to wartorn El Salvador as a high school student, which made her vehemently anti-war.

She said she embraced the Democratic Party because ‘that was supposed to be the party of peace, the party of compassion.’ 

‘It has lost its way,’ the Bay Area lawyer said. ‘There is only one anti-war candidate today and you won’t find him in the Democratic Party or the Republican Party it’s Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’ 

Shanahan talked about her Kennedy awakening, admitting to the crowd that she ‘didn’t think much of Bobby Kennedy’ because she had only heard ‘horrible disparaging things’ of the media’s making. 

She said a friend asked her to listen to just one Kennedy interview. 

Shanahan did – and then another and another. 

‘And then I recognized the person I was seeing in these interviews was the exact opposite of the media’s slander of his character,’ she said. 

Kennedy – the nephew of President John F. Kennedy and son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy – is an environmental lawyer and prominent anti-vaxxer, who has tried to link autism to childhood vaccines. 

Shanahan got loud cheers when she appeared to display a similar skepticism. 

Her daughter, Echo, who she shares with Brin, is on the spectrum and she told the crowd what doctors and experts told her about autism’s causes. 

First mentioning toxic substances in our environment and electromagnetic pollution.

‘Third, I’m sorry to say, is our medications,’ she said, noting that the medical industry has never truly tested the safety of ‘prescription on top of another prescription and one shot on top of another shot.’ 

That got huge cheers from the Kennedy crowd.  



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