Bestselling author and progressive activist Marianne Williamson opened the Democratic bid to retain the White House Thursday, as she announced her intentions to seek the parties nomination and stage the first non-official challenge to President Biden’s campaign.
The announcement for Williamson, 70, marks her second attempt to lead the U.S., as she ran a short-lived campaign in 2020 to challenge former President Donald Trump. Williamson dropped out after never polling above 2% and only participating in 2 of the 11 Democratic debates.
“I wouldn’t be running for president if I didn’t believe I could contribute to harnessing the collective sensibility that I feel is our greatest hope at this time,” Williamson told the Medill News Service in an interview.
Williamson becomes the first Democrat to officially declare for the presidency, as Joe Biden remains likely to run despite recent reports indicating lingering indecision on the matter.
In 2020, Williamson’s campaign featured an array of progressive pronouncements and soundbites that won her fans online. A spiritual adviser, Williamson often said Trump’s election was a symptom of a diseased society that love, not politics could only remediate.
Williamson has already been on the offensive with her sole Democratic rival at the moment, jabbing at Biden through a slate of recent interviews.
“Apparently Biden’s going to run on a message that the economy is getting stronger. I think that speaks to the disconnect between the analysis of party elites versus the struggle of everyday Americans,” Williamson said in a recent interview with Politico.
Williamson also came out against the Democratic National Committee’s decision to alter the primary schedule, leaving South Carolina as the first state to vote for its nominee. Biden won first place in the state in 2020, boosting him ahead of the pack and widely credited as the state to reinvigorate his campaign.
Williamson has been making the rounds at important primary states as of late, however, touring New Hampshire last week, which now sits second on the Democratic primary schedule.
President Biden is still largely expected to run and receive the nomination in 2024, as he would be the first incumbent elected president since Franklin Pierce in 1852 to lose the support of his party. No other Democrats have any serious intentions to run as of now, while the Republican Party boasts a field of four led by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former President Trump.