RFK Jr. Eyes Rodgers, Ventura for VP Picks

Unexpected alliance forms in political and sports realms.

by Nouman Rasool
RFK Jr. Eyes Rodgers, Ventura for VP Picks
© Emily Elconin/Getty Images

In a significant twist to the 2024 presidential race, independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is reportedly considering a diverse duo for his vice-presidential running mate: Aaron Rodgers, the distinguished quarterback for the New York Jets, and Jesse Ventura, the former Governor of Minnesota, as per NBC News.

This revelation follows Kennedy's previous announcement in an interview last month, stating his intention to reveal his VP choice within the coming 30 days—a timeline that quietly elapsed at the start of March without any declaration.

A spokesperson for the Kennedy campaign revealed on Tuesday that both Rodgers and Ventura are being evaluated as potential running mates, among other unnamed candidates on a preliminary shortlist. However, they refrained from divulging further specifics about the selection process.

This intriguing possibility was first brought to light by The New York Times, highlighting Rodgers' and Ventura's consideration for the role. Ventura, a notable figure who transitioned from professional wrestling to politics, made history in 1998 by being elected as Minnesota's governor under the Reform Party banner, serving a single term without seeking re-election.

On the other hand, Rodgers, aged 40, boasts an illustrious NFL career marked by a Super Bowl victory and four MVP titles. Despite suffering an early-season injury in 2023, Rodgers is eagerly anticipated to make his return to the field this year.

Rodgers Endorses Kennedy

The connection between Kennedy and Rodgers grew stronger last year after they shared their mutual criticism of Covid vaccines, leading Rodgers to endorse Kennedy. In a recent display of support, Rodgers shared Kennedy's response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address on the social media platform X, praising it as "presidential." The Democratic National Committee has sharply criticized Kennedy's consideration of such unconventional running mates.

Mary Beth Cahill, a senior adviser to the committee, mocked the selection as a "Three Stooges reunion" that nobody sought, attributing it to the "conspiracy theorist" at the helm. Kennedy, who transitioned to an independent campaign following a lackluster performance within the Democratic Party, remains a notable figure in the race.

A Quinnipiac University poll last month provided insight into a potential three-way contest between Biden, former President Donald Trump, and Kennedy, showing Biden and Trump in a tight race with 38% and 37% support, respectively, and Kennedy capturing 15% of the vote.

This poll, encompassing 1,421 self-identified registered voters across the nation, carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, signaling an unpredictable election ahead.