I spent much of October watching a lot of baseball lately because playoff season is when things get a little more interesting. Every time I settled in to watch a game, I was reminded of that brilliant insult: “He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.”
This, my friends, describes Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in a (pea)nutshell.
Talk about lineage. Even Republicans sigh deeply and check their language when it comes to slamming a Kennedy. American royalty with ridiculously good hair, strong teeth and jawlines so sharp they could cut through a prison cell door like it’s a 3 Musketeers. And that’s just the women!
I’ll admit to a certain Kennedy obsession over the years. They’re horsey and tanned and their knotted sweaters strangely don’t make me want to punch them in the throat. Credit the Kennedy mystique.
The family’s tragedies over the years, some of their own making but most not, have been epic and don’t need to be rehashed here. Let’s just deal with the current one mentioned above. RFK Jr., aka He Who Will Not Be Vaxxed is running for president because why not? Even his siblings are horrified. Not that a Kennedy is running for president—that was inevitable—but it’s this particular Kennedy with his polarizing language and certifiably weird science. Last week, having had it up to their patrician noses, four of his siblings issued a statement asking America not to vote for Bobby, concluding: “We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country.”
If he wasn’t so annoying I’d almost feel sorry for him.
This is the roughest language from a family member I recall since Trump sidekick Stephen Miller’s uncle, Dr. David Glosser, penned an op/ed for Politico in which he elegantly called out his neph (whose great grandfather fled antisemitic persecution in what is now Belarus) as an “immigration hypocrite” whose cruel policies he watched with “dismay and increasing horror.” Glosser, a retired neuropsychologist, said he had been asked to speak on behalf of the entire family. Ouch. I’m guessing Stephen spent Thanksgiving with the Bob Evanses that year.
And of course, there’s Mary Trump, who has made a cottage industry out of hating on her uncle. The Kennedys will never speak again of this. Stephen Miller’s uncle was moved to share his truth. With Mary Trump, you get the feeling she couldn’t make the rent without this side hustle so it doesn’t seem quite as pure. That said, godspeed Mary Trump.
RFK Jr., his many environmental good deeds notwithstanding, was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. Why wouldn’t he run for president?
It’s worth noting next year’s presidential election could see two titans of entitlement running against Biden, who, even his detractors have to acknowledge, was born closer to the on-deck circle, not even the batter’s box.
But does being born on third base really work? Not usually, as it turns out. With the exception of baseball-loving former prez George W. Bush, most of those elected in recent years—Democrats and Republicans—haven’t come from money. They did it the old-fashioned way: calling you at the precise moment you sit down to eat to ask for your vote and a contribution. They’re repaid with screams in the background: “JUST HANG UP!!! DON’T TALK TO THEM! I MADE RIGATONI!!”
Reagan was a middling actor turned politician; Obama, raised by his mom and grandparents, was solidly middle class; Carter was a peanut farmer in the poorest part of Georgia; Clinton was raised by a single mom who worked all the time. With the exception of Trump and the Bushes we generally elect people whose backstory is relatable. Not born on third base so much as selling hot dogs in the stands.
RFK Jr. might want to think about that.