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Hive of grifters

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It is unclear what political impact RFK Jr.’s ridiculous campaign will have, but one thing it will do is get a lot of cranks and cronies lucrative no-work jobs:

As the presidential election was heating up in February, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign made an announcement to staff: Charles Eisenstein, the director of messaging, would spend weeks in Costa Rica, “reconnecting with spirit.” While there, he recorded a podcast interview in which he said some of his boss’s ideas were “actually repugnant” but that Kennedy was still the best candidate.

In recognition of his sojourn in the Central American country, Eisenstein took a pay cut for working less: rather than earning $21,000 a month, he started billing the campaign $14,000. 

The episode highlights the unusual nature of the Kennedy operation, which even by the standards of freewheeling political campaigns stands out for its eclectic mix of characters, poor financial planning and what some staffers describe as a dysfunctional, unprofessional atmosphere.

Kennedy, 70 years old, has surrounded himself with aides and advisers who have little political experience and, in some instances, histories that might have raised eyebrows on other campaigns. Former staffers complained that some top officials are more focused on raising their own profiles than helping the candidate, among other concerns. As a result of the disorder, several people have quit.

“I had felt left behind by both parties and thought someone like RFK could be the answer,” said Kiera Hall, who left the campaign recently and said she doesn’t know whom she will vote for. Kennedy’s campaign was rife with “grifters and opportunists,” she said. “If someone’s going to do that to their campaign, how do I know they won’t do that in their administration?”

No wonder Silicon Valley tech bros were RFK-curious before inevitably going back to Trump — real kindred spirits here in a lot of ways, granting that Trump takes a lot more for himself.

And one reason he’s become pro-insurrection is that it’s his own staffers who have been or might be in the clinker if sedition is actually punished:

Kennedy largely aligns with Democratic policies but is more in line with Republicans on such topics as immigration and guns. He also recently indicated he would be open to pardoning Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a promise Trump has made. Several staff and consultants on the Kennedy campaign were either at the Capitol on Jan. 6, made sympathetic comments about those convicted, or questioned the results of the 2020 election.

Ah, the great opportunist-grifter-fascist cycle of life.

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