A 1960 Kennedy campaign ad for RFK Jr. is rebooted.


Yes, that catchy jingle you heard on your television right before the Super Bowl halftime was an ad endorsing Kennedy for president, and it looked and sounded almost exactly like it did in 1960.

A super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential bid ran the ad, which was essentially a reboot of an ad supporting Kennedy's uncle, John F. Kennedy, in his 1960 presidential campaign. It features the same jingle , the same cheerful cartoons interspersed with candid photographs of the candidate, on which the young Kennedy's face has been superimposed.

The PAC, American Values ​​2024, paid $7 million for the ad, said PAC co-founder Tony Lyons. Production took about 36 hours, he said.

Kennedy is running for president as an independent, having left the Democratic Party in October, arguing that the Democratic primary system was rigged against him. His candidacy has worried many Democrats who fear that Kennedy, an environmental lawyer who has become a prominent purveyor of conspiracy theories, could divert votes from President Biden.

The super PAC has raised suspicions about Kennedy's support base. A substantial portion of the PAC's funding, about $15 million, came from Timothy Mellon, a Republican who also donated $10 million to a super PAC backing former President Donald J. Trump.

Super Bowl ads are often heavy on nostalgia: Sunday night's spots featured vintage footage of Volkswagen, a “Scrubs” reunion and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Boston.

But Kennedy's announcement struck a different note. While John F. Kennedy ran in 1960 as a 43-year-old Democrat, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is 70 years old and running as an independent, a self-described spoilsport. (Despite Mr. Kennedy's age, the ad still portrays him as young and athletic, including a photo of him skiing.)

Kennedy has invoked his historic political family and legacy throughout his candidacy. But many of his relatives have denounced him.

In July, the former president's grandson, Jack Schlossberg, posted a video calling his uncle's campaign “a disgrace,” saying the younger Kennedy is “trading Camelot, celebrity conspiracy theories and conflicts for personal gain and fame.” .

The Super Bowl ad received a mixed reception on social media platform X. Ben Shapiro, a right-wing writer, called it “surprisingly politically astute.”

Robert Shrum, a veteran Democratic political consultant who worked with former Senator Edward M. Kennedy, wrote: “This RFK Jr. Super Bowl ad is a direct plagiarism of the 1960 JFK ad. What a fraud, and to quote Lloyd Bentsen with a slight amendment: “Bobby, you're no John Kennedy.” Instead, you are a Trump ally.”

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