Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

RFK Jr. Super Bowl ad highlights the paradox that is his campaign

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s third-party presidential campaign has polled historically well as an abstraction. And a super PAC supporting him spent millions of dollars Sunday on a Super Bowl ad seeking to capitalize on that abstraction.

The ad from the super PAC may have been many Americans' introduction to Kennedy's 2024 campaign. And to the extent the ad actually featured content, it was: Did you know he's a Kennedy? The ad borrowed heavily from John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign advertising, effectively inserting the former president's nephew in his place. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. apologized to the many family members who don't support him (but he was still featuring the ad on his personal X account when this post published).

The controversy is one thing. The strategy is another. The ad highlighted a counterintuitive circumstance - that the voters most likely to wax nostalgic for the Kennedy era are the least likely to view this Kennedy favorably.


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