Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon to the newsmaker line to describe the charisma and enthusiasm during Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s presidential announcement in Boston this week.
Leahy: On our newsmaker line right now, our very good friend, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, The Epoch Times leading columnist, now reporting from Boston where Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. announced his candidacy for president, Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.
Simon: Good morning. I’m an hour ahead of you.
Leahy: So tell us about the Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. announcement in Boston yesterday. He’s running for president. What was that event like?
Simon: Very dramatic, I have to say. In fact, I was rather surprised that there was a lot of people enthusiastic crowd for Kennedy’s speech. I won’t say much about DeSantis, who came before him. That’s questionable. But Kennedy himself sounded weirdly like Trump. He’s very much an enemy of the deep state. In fact, in some ways, he’s more conservative than Trump.
It’s quite amazing what’s happening in our politics. And yet at the same time, people are so party oriented that they’ll maybe accept these ideas, liberals, oh, that they would never accept from Trump.
Leahy: I watched the video of it, Roger, and I was surprised at how large and enthusiastic the crowd was. Was that the way it was in person?
Simon: Very much and also you had the suspicion that there were a good many Republicans there. In fact, I know for a fact what the percentages were and I can’t tell you. He’s clearly running and going to run as, I wouldn’t call it a centrist, someone who wants to appeal to both sides of our country, which we’ve really never had in quite a long time. It’s gonna be quite different. It may go back to the old Kennedys.
Leahy: Yes, that is something. Of course, you and I both grew up during the Kennedy era. Was there a sense of that sort of classic Kennedy charisma in the announcement, even though he has a voice problem?
Simon: He does have a voice problem, but he does have some charisma. And also, he plays it up. Before you were probably tuned in, there was a lengthy montage of Kennedyana on the screen to remind us, those of us old enough to remember, what it was like. And you have to admit; it was better.
Leahy: In Boston, that’s where the Kennedys got their start, way back in the mid-1860s. And then Joseph P. Kennedy, the grandfather, if you will, of Robert F. Kennedy, the patriarch who made a lot of money in Hollywood and as a bootlegger and as a kind of a Wall Street sharp guy, Boston was so pro-Kennedy from 1946 onward. Do you have that same kind of feeling that Boston Democrats are behind Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, or are some of them like the rest of his family saying he’s gotten a little bit loony on this vaccine thing?
Simon: There are some folks and we’re going to find out in the next 18 months. There’s the woke Democratic Party, which is like from Mars as far as I’m concerned, and the woke Democratic Party is gonna be hard to crack. But he’s offering the old Democratic Party. It’s an interesting situation.
Also, I had just dropped down from New Hampshire because I was driving around with Vivek Ramaswamy the young buck candidate on the Republican side. And it’s interesting that they shared some views.
Also, New Hampshire, I don’t have to tell listeners, is very close to Massachusetts. And that’s the early primary, and I think that’s going to be a very interesting and hard-fought primary because if Bobby Kennedy, Jr. can defeat Biden in New Hampshire, then who knows what will happen.
Leahy: I know he was probably jammed with the media there. Did you have an opportunity this time to talk directly with Bobby Kennedy?
Simon: I did not. He’s worked with other people at The Epoch Times. His friends are with us, and there were more Epoch Times people there than virtually anybody. When I was ushered into the press area the woman there mistakenly thought I was with The New York Times and gave me a real scowl cause they hate Kennedy. And then I said The Epoch Times and she said, oh good, you’re a friend.
Leahy: The scowl became a smile.
Simon: It did.
Leahy: Do you have any sense of, because Roger, we have The Iowa Star, which is, the pathway to the road, to the GOP nomination goes through The Iowa Star. Now the Democrats are playing games with Iowa. In Iowa, I think they’re still going to have a Democrat caucus. Do you have a sense of whether or not Bobby Kennedy, Jr is going to start campaigning in Iowa?
Simon: Oh, I would think yes because it seems to be a serious deal. He has not entered this thing casually and he’d be a fool not to go to Iowa. In fact, I think he’d be well-received in Iowa as I said in New Hampshire. His danger zone is probably South Carolina which saved Biden’s hide the last time around.
Leahy: Exactly. Do you have a sense that he’ll have enough money to run a credible challenge to Joe Biden?
Simon: As of now, I would guess yes, but I don’t know for sure. And I don’t know how much the money counts anymore because there is so much media. And one of the interesting things about this is we’re actually going to have a fight, which we didn’t anticipate until he jumped in here.
I think the Republicans are gonna have a bit of a fight of their own too. So it’s going to be a much more interesting election than we anticipated, and I’m glad to be participating in it now. I thought it was going to be boring, but I don’t think it is at all.
Leahy: Roger can you what would be the difference, let’s say, if Rob Bobby Kennedy Jr. goes to an event in Iowa, like a county, Democrat Party meeting, shall we say, which they have all the time in the 90 some odd counties of Iowa. Will he be able to connect with people in a way that the guy in the basement, Joe Biden can’t?
Simon: 100 percent because he loves it. He shares something with Trump and with Ramaswamy, and that is they like to answer questions. Kennedy’s a very smart guy. He’s done his homework. I have to agree with what he said about the vaccines, although not all vaccines, but he has done his homework to the extent that he knows a lot and he knows a lot about foreign policy.
He talks quite lengthily about Ukraine and he is not fond of our involvement. So it would be very interesting, unlike Biden, who can’t answer any questions. He’s just probably going to make an appearance in waves of appeal.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
– – –
Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.