Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s working mate, the Silicon Valley investor Nicole Shanahan, mentioned on Wednesday evening that she had given one other $8 million to their unbiased presidential marketing campaign because it carries out the costly endeavor of gaining poll entry throughout the nation and tries to propel Mr. Kennedy onto debate levels.

Ms. Shanahan’s new donation, which she introduced at a comedy fund-raiser in Nashville, brings her complete contribution to the marketing campaign to $10 million, not together with the $4 million she gave to an excellent PAC backing Mr. Kennedy to assist pay for a Tremendous Bowl commercial early this 12 months. Ms. Shanahan, a lawyer who was previously married to the Google co-founder Sergey Brin, gave the marketing campaign $2 million shortly after Mr. Kennedy named her as his running mate in March.

After a nod to the media, Ms. Shanahan mentioned, “I believe I do know what they’re going to say — they’re going to say Bobby solely picked me for my cash,” a comment that drew laughter from the gang.

Ms. Shanahan’s feedback got here close to the top of a four-hour occasion on the storied Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. She adopted performances by comedians together with Russell Model, Rob Schneider and Jim Breuer, a former “Saturday Evening Stay” solid member. Lots of the performers praised Mr. Kennedy, however in addition they used their time onstage to rail towards Covid vaccinations, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the mainstream information media and President Biden.

Ms. Shanahan’s private wealth has been a major asset for Mr. Kennedy. Whereas marketing campaign finance legal guidelines constrain people from donating greater than $6,600 to a marketing campaign, the candidates themselves may give limitless sums of their very own cash.

Her money has provided a financial lifeline as their marketing campaign undertakes a costly effort to get on the poll in all 50 states — which might be a difficult and costly enterprise beneath any circumstances, much more so as a result of the Democratic Celebration and its allies have pledged to mount authorized challenges to the hassle.

Ms. Shanahan made her announcement the identical day that Mr. Biden and former President Donald J. Trump agreed to two debates, one on June 27 on CNN and one other on Sept. 10 on ABC Information. In doing so, they rejected the standard Fee on Presidential Debates, which had hosted the occasions for many years.

Mr. Kennedy might probably qualify for the CNN debate, and the hassle might really be simpler beneath the community’s polling guidelines than it might have been beneath the rules set by the debates fee. Mr. Kennedy wants to point out at least 15 percent support in 4 accepted nationwide polls between March 13 and June 20. He already has at the very least two polls that present him above that threshold, one from CNN and one from Quinnipiac University. He has one other 5 weeks to earn extra qualifying polls.

To qualify for the CNN debate, Mr. Kennedy should additionally get on the poll in sufficient states in order that he might probably win the 270 Electoral Faculty votes wanted to be elected president. He’s at present on the poll in five states, which in complete have 84 electoral votes, however his marketing campaign has one other 5 weeks to position him on the poll in different states earlier than the deadline to qualify for the controversy.

Mr. Kennedy criticized each Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump after information of their deliberate debates turned public on Wednesday.

“They’re attempting to exclude me from their debate as a result of they’re afraid I’d win,” he wrote on social media. “Conserving viable candidates off the controversy stage undermines democracy.”





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