This is an opinion column

Most all of my adult life I have leaned Republican, but about the closest I have ever gotten to becoming a Democrat may have been last week when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. took off his shirt and peeled off a few push-ups.

It went viral so don’t act like I am the only one who saw it.

I think even the women in the suburbs liked it, and we all know how particular that crowd can be.

All these years I had wondered where his part of the Kennedy gene was located. Now we all know.

He doesn’t even have to talk anymore. From now on if he is asked any questions during the debates – if there are any debates – that he doesn’t want to answer, he can just stand there and flex. He can wink at the camera and smile a little bit.

Voters like that in a candidate. Think back to his daddy, Robert Kennedy, Sr. who was attorney general and a senator, and his uncle, President John F. Kennedy. They knew how win votes.

I have been in houses in Wilcox County where pictures of John F. Kennedy still hang. There was one hanging in the probate office at the court house until the last probate judge was elected. Now there is a collage of her. She is using a technique similar to RFK Jr’s in order to retain voters.

Men understand why he took his shirt off and women respond. He should not have any trouble rounding up a few volunteers or selling t-shirts.

President Biden may not have that same option. He might shouldn’t take his shirt off in an effort to impress voters, even if he is asked questions he doesn’t want to answer…and he may be.

RFK Jr.’s bench press routine reminded me of growing up in the early 80′s. Back then chewing gum couldn’t be advertised without a couple of fit women in swimsuits holding it out on a beach.

Toothpaste was the same way.

And cars. There were probably boys of the 1970′s who were highly disappointed to reach the age where they could afford a new car only to find out it didn’t come with a half naked women spread out across the hood.

Flesh draws the eye and most minds. It sells. So I can understand why Robert Kennedy made his move. If it can sell cars, it can buy votes. He also made his point – visually speaking – about the contrast between himself and President Biden. And it worked like a charm because nobody gives a damn how old he is anymore.

Maybe Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley and Democrat Marianne Williamson should consider a similar stunt. If they go around campaigning in red, white, and blue bikinis would it help them any in the polls? It might, if they can look like the equal opposite of RFK Jr. in them. Swirling sparklers around might help too.

For years it seems attention has been directed to chunkiness like it is the same as fitness and it is not. Fitness takes effort. Maybe the Dove soap commercials were just being polite. All bodies are bodies, and everybody buys soap. All bodies may identify as beautiful…but all bodies may not win votes.

Time will tell how it works out for Robert Kennedy, Jr.

Amanda Walker is a columnist and contributor with AL.com, The Birmingham News, Selma Times Journal, Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Alabama Gazette. Contact her at [email protected] or at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.

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