Self-help author, spiritual guru, and former 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson announced her plans to run for president again. “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 is the first Democrat to publicly announce plans to challenge Biden. She recently said it is time for Democrats to move on from Biden. She will make the official announcement on March 4th. Additionally, President Biden has said he intends to run for a second term but has yet to make a formal announcement.
By Seth McLaughlin; February 23, 2023
“If we were on FaceTime, I would wink.”
That is the response Marianne Williamson gave to The Washington Times on Thursday after she was pressed on whether she planned to challenge President Biden in the 2024 presidential race.
Ms. Williamson has tried to be coy about her plans, but she appeared to let her intentions slip Thursday in an interview with the college newspaper at Northwestern University.
“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,” she said.
In addition, a webpage under the address events.marianne2024.com was teasing “an important announcement” that she plans to deliver on March 4 at the Union Station Presidential Suite in Washington, D.C. The page also solicited donations.
Nevertheless, Ms. Williamson, a self-help author who also ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nod, refused to say in so many words that she is running, likely not to detract from the March 4 announcement.
Ms. Williamson did, however, provide insight into why she would seek to replace Mr. Biden on the Democratic ticket.
“Joe Biden deserves credit where credit is due, for one thing, he defeated Donald Trump, and … because he did that, America didn’t fall off the cliff,” Ms. Williamson, who unsuccessfully sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, told The Times. “On the other hand, we’re still six inches away from it.”
“I see President Biden as someone who is trying his best to help people survive an unjust system,” she said. “The Democratic Party shouldn’t stand for trying to help people survive an unjust system, the Democratic Party should stand for ending an unjust system.”
Mr. Biden entered the 2022 election cycle facing lots of skepticism from the leftwing of the party and appeared ripe for a challenge from a well-known progressive candidate.
Things changed after the party’s stronger-than-expected showing in the midterm elections where Democrats defied expectations.
The party overcame Mr. Biden’s low job-approval ratings and deep concerns about inflation, crime, and border security to defend its slim majority in the Senate and give House Republicans only the narrowest and least-workable majority in decades.
Mr. Biden has long said it’s his intention to seek a second term, but he has held off on an official announcement.
Ms. Williamson, who has never held public office, had some moments during debates in the 2020 race. But she dropped out in January before any primary or caucus votes had been cast and she was still registering around 1% in polls.
Still, Ms. Williamson told The Times the American people are “waking up” to the reality they are being “played” by a federal government that has been “acting as a vehicle to chop wood and carry water for an oligarchic matrix in this country.”
“So we have about 20% of Americans who are doing pretty well,” she said. “I am among them, by the way, but we live on an enchanted island that is surrounded by a gargantuan sea of economic anxiety and despair.”
Most Americans, Ms. Williamson said, are living paycheck-to-paycheck, tens of thousands of people die each year from a lack of health care, millions of children live in hunger, and tens of millions more are uninsured or underinsured.
“We truly are in our second Gilded Age,” the 70-year-old said, lamenting how the gap between the wealthy and the working class has been widening for decades. “The last one was met by Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal.”
Ms. Williamson said the current challenges demand a bold agenda that includes passing legislation to establish universal health care, free higher education, guaranteed sick pay, and paid family leave.
She said those positions are mainstream and she blamed the “corrupt” political system for casting them aside as far-flung and extreme.
“They’re not considered moderate issues because the American people have been played,” she said. “We are no longer functioning as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
“We are functioning as a government of, by, and for huge corporate interests, who put their short-term profits before the safety, health, and well-being of the American people and the planet on which we live,” she said.
She said the recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, is a byproduct of a crony capitalist system in which railroad companies sent donations to elected leaders to stave off regulations that could make communities more safe.
Ms. Williamson said the current situation demands an end to the status quo in Washington.
“For the most part, our political establishment is divided into two categories — either those who do not care to fix the problems that I just mentioned to you, or do not have the spine to fix the problems that I just mentioned to you,” she said.
She concluded, “in either case, such people should not be running this country.”