By Will Weissert | Associated Press
WASHINGTON – Bestselling self-help author Marianne Williamson, who brought quirky spiritualism to the 2020 presidential race, has announced she is running for president again, becoming the first major Democrat to challenge President Joe Biden for her party’s nomination. in 2024.
Williamson, 70, is formally kicking off his campaign with an event in Washington on Saturday. Not to mention former President Donald Trump, she noted in a weekend Facebook post that her unconventional White House victory makes it “weird for anyone to think they might know who might win the presidency.”
“Not going through this again just to add to the conversation,” wrote Williamson. “I am running for president to help close an aberrant chapter in our history and to help usher in a new beginning.”
Williamson running against an incumbent president from his own party would be the longest shot in the dark under any circumstances. But that’s especially true this cycle, as the Democratic establishment — and even potential presidential candidates who might have competed with Biden on the left or in the middle — have closed ranks with remarkable uniformity behind the president.
Williamson says he plans to follow up his Washington announcement with trips to states that vote at the start of the Democratic primary. That includes New Hampshire, where she suggested she would run in the state’s primary if it defied Democratic National Committee rules and held the country’s first presidential nomination contest, despite the party making South Carolina its first state for 2024.
“I feel that my forty years of living with the trauma of so many thousands of individuals has given me a unique perspective on what it takes to help repair America,” wrote Williamson. “We need a policy that addresses not just the symptoms, but the cause. This is not based on the crass imperatives of endless corporate profit, but on the eternal imperatives of our principles and values.”
Biden has yet to announce a formal bid for re-election, which aides say is likely to take place in the coming months. First Lady Jill Biden recently told the Associated Press that there was “practically” nothing left for the president to do but choose a time and place to announce his candidacy for re-election. Biden himself, though he told ABC that “there are a lot of other things I have to finish in the short term before starting a campaign.”
Oprah Winfrey’s spiritual advisor and online purveyor of physical memorabilia, Williamson spent about a year seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
One of his signature proposals was a plan to create a US Department of Peace. She also advocated for the federal government to pay huge financial reparations to black Americans as atonement for centuries of slavery and discrimination.
She suspended her campaign in the weeks leading up to Iowa’s initial 2020 caucus and later endorsed the 2020 candidacy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He finished second in the Democratic primary against Biden.
The author of more than a dozen books and an unsuccessful independent candidate for Congress from California in 2014, Williamson first made a name for herself on the national political scene during the 2016 presidential race. Democrat Hillary Clinton.
This time, she evoked a theme Biden used frequently ahead of last fall’s midterm elections, when Democrats showed surprising resilience. The president argues that American democracy is under threat from extremist “MAGA Republicans” loyal to Trump’s Make America Great Again movement. Williamson said the country’s political traditions may not withstand today’s threats.
“If we do not preserve the blessings of democracy today,” she wrote in her Facebook post, “we must expect the threat of authoritarianism later.”
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