Kennedy, Trump Face Setbacks at Libertarian Convention

Unexpected drama unfolds at Libertarian Party's national convention.

by Nouman Rasool
Kennedy, Trump Face Setbacks at Libertarian Convention
© Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

In a dramatic twist at the Libertarian Party's national convention, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was swiftly eliminated from the nomination race. The scene unfolded in Washington, DC, where Kennedy, having received only 19 delegate votes or 2.07%, failed to advance beyond the first voting round.

His brief candidacy, introduced and extinguished on the same day, highlights the unpredictable nature of third-party politics in America. Kennedy's attempt to secure the Libertarian nomination was met with visible resistance.

His nomination from the floor sparked boos, indicating a lack of support among the delegates. This reception underscored the complexities of aligning his political stance with Libertarian values, particularly given his recent switch from the Democratic Party to run as an independent.

Trump's Convention Setback

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, another surprise contender at the convention, also faced disqualification. Despite not officially qualifying due to a failure to submit the necessary paperwork, Trump received six write-in votes.

His appearance was marred by vocal disapproval, particularly notable during his plea for support, which clashed sharply with the libertarian ethos of the event. In a poignant rebuke, Stormy Daniels, central to a legal battle involving Trump, received a symbolic vote from a delegate, underscoring the contentious atmosphere of the proceedings.

Kennedy's quick exit did not deter his resolve. Following his elimination, he took to social media to express gratitude for the unexpected nomination and called for unity among independents and third-party supporters. His campaign message focused on the need to challenge the entrenched two-party system and reclaim political integrity.

Despite his elimination, Kennedy remained poised, urging Libertarians to support his broader campaign goals, emphasizing a shared commitment to pivotal issues like market freedom, anti-war stances, and constitutional rights.

Kennedy's dialogue with the Libertarian Party began well before the convention, marked by meetings with Libertarian Chair Angela McArdle. These discussions highlighted potential alignments but also revealed strategic motivations tied to ballot access, illustrating the pragmatic aspects of third-party nominations.

Kennedy's running mate, Nicole Shanahan, also echoed the sentiment of potential collaboration, despite no longer speaking at the convention post-elimination. The fallout from Kennedy’s brief Libertarian flirtation reveals deeper strategic calculations.

Positioned on the ballot in six states, compared to the Libertarians' 38, Kennedy's campaign is seen as a disruptive force in the upcoming election. His rising poll numbers suggest a significant draw of support away from major party candidates, which has intensified political dynamics.