Marianne Williamson, whose 2020 White House campaign centered around quirky spiritual healing calls rather than actual voter support, launched another longshot presidential bid on Saturday, becoming the first Democrat to formally challenge President Joe Biden in 2024.
During the kickoff in the nation’s capital, Williamson told a crowd of more than 600 people, “We are upset about this country, we are worried about this country.” “Our goal is to create a vision of justice and love that will overcome hatred, injustice, and fear.”
As a testament to how strongly Democrats are united behind Biden, the 70-year-old former spiritual adviser to Oprah Winfrey will provide only token opposition in the primary election. Nevertheless, she tripped up the president, a longtime Amtrak rider, by holding her opening rally at Union Station, Washington’s railway station.
A few days before last November’s elections, Biden delivered his own speech at Union Station, in which he urged voters to reject political extremism and said “democracy itself” was at stake. According to Williamson, who has designed her campaign signs with the slogans “A New Beginning” and “Disrupt the System,” she will campaign in early-voting states in 2024.
The Democratic National Committee plans to have South Carolina kick off the nomination contests with the support of Biden, but New Hampshire has threatened to defy that plan. Democrats and Republicans in New Hampshire have warned that if Biden skips the state’s unsanctioned primary and a rival wins, that outcome could prove embarrassing for the sitting president – even if the challenger has little chance of actually winning.
With a strong voice, Williamson expressed frustration on Saturday, criticizing those who view themselves as authoritative and refuse to take her campaign seriously. She demanded to be given the opportunity to participate and reminded listeners that she had previously run for president. Williamson was also aware of the obstacles in her path due to certain predetermined agendas and acknowledged that her qualifications might not align with what some consider necessary for fixing previous mistakes.
As Williamson made her announcement, musician and American University student Luke Stowell praised her inclusive message that addresses social barriers many face. Sitting beside him, law student Ivan Claudio expressed concern over the age of Biden should he secure a second term in office.
Without naming Biden specifically, Williamson delivered a speech where she commented that the country was still on the brink of falling off a cliff despite Trump’s potential non-reelection in 2020. She criticized the corrupt political system and free market mindset which she believed placed greed above everything else, resulting in a widespread economic injustice that affected people’s expectations. According to Williamson, Americans had been trained to accept so little and had essentially been played by this system.
Williamson, a Texas native who now lives in Beverly Hills, California, is the author of more than a dozen books and ran an unsuccessful independent campaign in 2014. In 2020, she was best known for wanting to create a Department of Peace and arguing the federal government should pay large financial reparations to African Americans as a form of atonement for centuries of slavery and discrimination.
A key moment of her campaign was when she called for a “moral uprising” during a primary debate, but she dropped out just before the Iowa caucuses began. As Williamson said, “I’m not saying one person can fix it, even one president cannot.” But let me tell you something,” he said. “A president who tells it like it is would do a lot of good.”