Thinking about Bobby

James Freeman’s Best of the Web column yesterday asserts that “Biden has a Kennedy problem.” He takes a look at a new Echelon Institute poll “find[ing] that likely voters have a remarkably positive view of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the kooky environmental lawyer who is challenging Mr. Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination. In fact the Echelon survey suggests that Mr. Kennedy may have the best nationwide favorability rating of any politician in the country.”

He then quotes from a report on RFK’s Memorial Day speech in San Diego and comments:

If he’s sounding like he’s beginning to make some sense here, Mr. Kennedy can also boast a long history of dubious environmental claims and ill-informed anti-corporate harangues, so there’s a lot for leftist voters to like.

The premise of the Biden candidacy is an inversion of Jimmy Carter’s in 1976: Why not the worst? By contrast, Bobby’s substantial flaws shouldn’t necessarily prove a great handicap with a broad swath of Democrats. At this point, anyway, the choice appears to be binary. Biden is null and void. Why not the less worse?

Freeman observes that “[h]e‘s highlighting support for civil liberties and opposition to war and the national security apparatus—issues that used to resonate among Democratic voters and may be doing so again.” Insofar as the support for civil liberties is concerned, I am reminded of Jake Barnes’s comment at the end of The Sun Also Rises: “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

The Free Press has just posted Peter Savodnik’s column “RFK Jr. and the Populist Wave.” Having called on RFK Jr. at his home in Los Angeles, Savodnik provides an interesting profile of Bobby (with attention to the vaccine and free speech issues) along with a sidelong glance at Marianne Williamson under the subhead: “Why are Kennedy and Marianne Williamson polling so highly against Biden? Says one Democratic backer: ‘There’s a reckoning coming.’” Jake’s comment applies here as well.

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