Sage Steele Interview with RFK Jr.’s VP Running Mate Nicole Shanahan Renders Some Red-Pill Surprises

After winning her lawsuit against Disney, former ESPN sports announcer, journalist, and media personality Sage Steele has launched a platform of her own. “The Sage Steele Show” is a weekly podcast where Steele interviews people across the spectrum of politics and pop culture, not exclusively sports stars or personalities. So far, Steele has interviewed UFC’s Dana White, actress Gina Carano, and former competitive swimmer, activist, and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador Riley Gaines. With a few exceptions, there’s not a whole lot of good going on in the news and media space these days. So, it is great having Sage’s fresh voice and insight in the mix, as well as someone who actually knows how to conduct an interview. 


Last week, Steele interviewed independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and on Wednesday, she followed up with an interview with Kennedy’s vice presidential running mate, Nicole Shanahan. As a woman VP candidate, a tech entrepreneur, and a philanthropist, Shanahan had some particularly detailed and insightful responses to Steele’s inquiries. Some of Shanahan’s responses were even veering into the conservative lane, which is eye-opening considering Shanahan is an avowed progressive Democrat who has supported everything from presidential candidate Marianne Williamson to criminal justice initiatives and district attorneys like Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.   

In the interview with Steele, Shanahan revealed that Kennedy choosing her as veep was actually spontaneous and organic rather than vetted and programmed. With all the drama over former president and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s VP pick and the politicians and personalities who are being put through the paces (some who have failed spectacularly), the fact is that this off-the-cuff choice of Shanahan by the Kennedy campaign is almost forward thinking, for better or ill. Shanahan explained that she had only had a few conversations with Kennedy up to that point, and she understood his policies. “We were able to have open conversation,” Shanahan said. “It was a real dialogue.”

Over a couples dinner with Kennedy and his wife, and Shanahan and her partner, the revelation hit them all.

There was nothing, there was no party. There was no angling, there was nothing. You know, it was, it was very much, it feels honestly staged like, like how democracy is supposed to feel like. Something of individual agency and sovereignty and moving forward with values.

What a concept. Frankly, shared values should be a beginning place of all political discourse, the top being the shared value of the Constitution. The typical VP tradition of only seeking Electoral College votes needs to be expanded. Shanahan continued:

It was really over dinner that we were going through all of the vice presidential options and it just kind of came up. My partner Jacob, he’s such an incredible friend and he’s very engaged in politics as well, and he cares very deeply about this campaign and what it represents. He casually, said, “What about Nicole?” [B]oth Cheryl [Hines] and Bobby spin around in their chairs, and they’re looking at me and they’re like, would you consider it? And so that was my entry into the veepstakes.


Shanahan humbly said that since she’d never been asked, she had not even considered it. 

[T]hat moment was very surreal. Because, you know, while I have been around politics and I have been interested in service for a very, very long time, I mean, service is in my bones, it’s just who I am. I’ve never sought celebrity, but I’ve always sought service. And service is always best when it comes from a place that’s deeply organic and through interactions and through experience. So, I really looked at it as an opportunity of service versus entering politics. And I, I look at it that way every day when I wake up.

How would our politics look if this was the case for any candidate, presidential, vice presidential, or school board? In an attempt to up her chances, we had a potential Trump VP pick manufacture toughness by bragging about killing a puppy and a goat! This reflects how far we have missed the mark, and Shanahan could well be showing us a way back.

Steele then delved into the subject of crime and urban decay, mentioning Shanahan’s hometown of Oakland and the Bay area as an example. Shanahan opened the subject of the COVID lockdowns that previously had only been illumined by Drs. Jay Bhattacharya and Scott Atlas.

Like, when the pandemic crushed cities like Oakland. It’s not just Oakland: Chicago, crushed. New York, crushed. L.A., crushed. The long lockdown was one of the most devastating events in American history. And it was devastating for the most vulnerable communities.

The fact that it is coming out of the face of a Millennial woman in the tech and innovation world speaks volumes. Even more surprising, Shanahan pivoted to the problems at our Southern border — something that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (along with our Republican House) refuse to adequately address.

The border, too, is also contributive to putting so much stress on these communities that have not recovered from the lockdown.

BOOM. Conservatives have been saying for decades that illegal immigration harms poor communities the most. Sometimes, these poor communities are Black, Hispanic, or legal immigrant minorities. But the fact that this rhetoric is coming from a progressive Democrat’s mouth bursts the talking point that Republicans are racists who hate poor people. Shanahan then delved more deeply into the economic impact of both the lockdowns and how illegal immigration drives down earnings for everyone.


Over $4 trillion of wage worker income was gouged from these communities. The kids who were all just getting by, whose only warm meal a day was at school, couldn’t go to school. […]

So, you have a lockdown coming in. You have a new virus coming through. You have communities that are barely getting by on all these essentials, and you take away wage earner income, and you open the border and you have millions of free-for-all, millions of people come over the border and aren’t being turned away because they can’t like, you know, these executive orders allow individuals to stay. 

Also, unlike Bumbling Biden and Border Czar Harris, Shanahan actually went to the Southern border rather than an adjacent town a comfortable distance from the unrest.

I went to the border and that was my first stop after taking this position. Because I really wanted to understand it. Yeah, I want to see it. I want to understand it. I want to understand all the figures and what it was and every law that was impacting these decisions being made. I want to understand where people were going and how they were getting there. And, you know, there is no excuse for this. I mean, once you understand the dynamics, it looks intentional. Whole communities are the ones impacted.

That statement was more substantial than any Kamala Harris word salad could ever be.

As a new mother, Shanahan also had some insights on parenting, particularly on how this role as vice presidential running mate could impact her time with her daughter. Shanahan related a moment when her young girl gave her permission, in her own unique way, to move forward with what Shanahan felt called to do.

You realize in moments like these that you are living up to some like mission, right? You are part of something bigger. And that’s how I feel about this. That’s how I would feel about the presidency. Four years, we can do a lot of good and my every expectation Is that I will also be able to be a very like, aware and engaged mother, because I think what makes great leaders are people who are great parents.

What a fascinating perspective, and food for thought. It would certainly explain the difference between a Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden vs. a Donald Trump and a Ron DeSantis. The fruit of bad parenting and bad leadership is resident, and frankly, thanks to Biden’s track record at both, the country is suffering. Shanahan continued with her comparison.


Because there’s something about parenting that, it doesn’t allow you to not be present. You have to be present, because the kids will call you out on it when you’re not present. They know, and they will test you, and test you again until you show up as your most authentic self. Yeah, and I think our leadership would benefit.

I was critical of Shanahan’s response to the Arizona Supreme Court upholding their pro-life law, deeming her comments on X as weak. Steele and Shanahan delved even more deeply into the topic of life and abortion. Shanahan upped her game, outlining her philosophy and perspective on the subject, as well as additional insight into how she thinks such policy should be decided. 

[A]bortion, when I was a little girl growing up, was about freedom and female empowerment.

And it still represents that to many, many Americans: the right to choose when you become a mother. But you have to also understand that this is before the, you know, the age of apps like cycle tracking apps, like we have so many new tools to track which days we’re likely to get pregnant. We have so many tools for birth control. And then, I look at the issue of abortion and I’m like, it has been completely politicized. It was politicized by Trump to win an election and then it was politicized by Biden now, to win an election back or through abortion. So, you have this incredibly politicized environment about women’s, you know, pro-life or pro-choice. And the reality is we’re talking about women in almost the abstract.

Wasn’t that the point of the feminist movement? Choice and that we are equal humans with the capacity for agency, not just objects to be possessed or traded upon? This abortion issue on both sides of the aisle denies the ability of agency, reasoning, and consciousness on the part of women and men. I have said in these pages that Republicans need to focus on LIFE and what that culture of life represents and looks like. But both sides play this game of abstraction. 

And so, when I come in as a woman, as a mother, and I’m looking at like, the fact that we have men talking about this as campaign platforms, and then I look at the reality on the ground, I think to myself, Okay, you know, what are the, let’s go back to the fundamentals of pro-choice. If there’s an accidental pregnancy and you’re a teenager here and you’re terrified. You know, and you need support, you absolutely should have support. That support should provide, like guidance on what’s going on in your body. Support socially. If you want to have the baby, support economically. Angela Stanton King has been involved in Bobby’s campaign and she’s a pro-lifer. And she has put together these wonderful resources for women in the community who want to have the baby because those resources don’t exist from the government.


Here Shanahan’s progressive indoctrination and the disconnect it renders bleeds through. It’s not the government’s job to do anything. It is the community that should — and does — provide resources and care for unexpected pregnancies. Shanahan needs to become educated on how good the entire pro-life movement is at being a resource to expectant mothers in every state. Shanahan’s progressive leanings then direct her to the wrong conclusion on abortion and poverty.

And so, then you look at the abortion clinics, many of which are in low-income neighborhoods. And we’re investing in, at a far higher rate than we’re investing in ending the cycle of poverty in those neighborhoods. And you clearly see there’s an issue here.

Oh, most definitely, there’s an issue. One that many conservative think tanks and policy arms have been speaking to for decades. Cycles of poverty are broken when women and men don’t have children too early and unmarried. A nuclear family is the best place to raise children. This is proven science and another point where Shanahan needs to dump her leftist indoctrination, put on her critical thinking cap, and get educated.

And so, when I think about pro-choice, I think about it as objectively as possible as a woman at understanding what those moments are like. And we have to meet women where they are rather than politicizing them and turning it into campaign talking points.

Steele then asked Shanahan what she understood Kennedy’s abortion stance to be. Steele insisted that she would not vote for anybody who says, “Go for it up till birth.” Shanahan elucidated.

Bobby’s position, as I understand it, my understanding with Bobby’s position is that, you know, every abortion is a tragedy. Yes, it’s a loss of life.

That the L-word came out of the mouth of an avowed Democrat is quite refreshing.

My understanding is that he absolutely believes in the limits on abortion, and we’ve talked about this. […] [H]e said it should always be a woman’s choice, always, even up until that moment.

Robert F. Kennedy’s policy notwithstanding, Steele and Shanahan had a powerful conversation about the sacredness of life that would not have happened on any other outlet. This final profundity that Shanahan ended on struck me as a perfect tone, and is worth being promoted.

I think at the end of the day, we always have to remember that this is a very, this birth and childbirth needs to be something that we only project love and power and care into.[…]

I believe that women’s reproductive health and choices and experiences are, have, and will always be topics of discussion and topics of debate because it is the most powerful thing in the world. I mean, bringing new life Into the world as a woman is like the most remarkable, magical, powerful. There’s no greater force, and honor. So, because it is an honor, there is no greater force on this planet than the force of creating life.


We all know that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming President of the United States. But now that Shanahan has been activated as a political figure, I suspect that, like Tulsi Gabbard, Shanahan will eventually become red-pilled and abandon the Democrat Party after this election cycle. Let’s hope so. Shanahan is a Millennial with great influence and even greater income, who will continue to be an instrument in effecting change. Thus far, some of it has been in the wrong direction (think criminal justice reform), but her journey of becoming a parent and helping women achieve true reproductive health will only move her closer to conservative viewpoints. I think of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the father of the modern abortion movement, who went deeper into the science on Life, and ultimately abandoned that path. Nathanson’s final days were spent making up for the lies he had fostered and tearing down the house he had helped to build. There is hope for Shanahan’s future and her viewpoints, inside or outside of politics.

Steele’s interview with Nicole Shanahan is over two hours, but a quality listen not just for the topics above, but for young women wanting to find their feet in business and launch their own company.


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