Marianne Williamson suspends her presidential campaign, ending long-shot primary challenge to President Biden

Self-help author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson is suspending her long-shot Democratic primary challenge to President Joe Biden

February 08, 2024 10:23 am | Updated 11:19 am IST - WASHINGTON

Ms. Williamson first ran for president in 2020 and made national headlines by calling for a “moral uprising” against then-President Donald Trump while proposing the creation of the Department of Peace. File.

Ms. Williamson first ran for president in 2020 and made national headlines by calling for a “moral uprising” against then-President Donald Trump while proposing the creation of the Department of Peace. File. | Photo Credit: AP

Self-help author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson announced the end of her long-shot Democratic challenge to President Joe Biden.

The 71-year-old onetime spiritual adviser to Oprah Winfrey contemplated suspending her campaign last month after winning just 5,000 votes in New Hampshire’s primary, writing that she “had to decide whether now is the time for a dignified exit or continue on our campaign journey.”

Ms. Williamson ultimately opted to continue on for two more primaries, but won just 2% of the vote in South Carolina and about 3% in Nevada.

“I hope future candidates will take what works for them, drinking from the well of information we prepared,” Ms. Williamson wrote in announcing the end of her bid. “My team and I brought to the table some great ideas, and I will take pleasure when I see them live on in campaigns and candidates yet to be created.”

Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips is the last nationally known Democrat still running against Mr. Biden, who has scored blowout victories in South Carolina and Nevada and easily won in New Hampshire — despite not being on the ballot — after his allies mounted a write-in campaign.

Mr. Biden is now more firmly in command of the Democratic primary. That's little surprise given that he's a sitting president, but it also defies years of low job approval ratings for Mr. Biden and polls showing that most Americans — even a majority of Democrats – don’t want him to run again.

Read more on the U.S. presidential polls here.

Ms. Williamson first ran for president in 2020 and made national headlines by calling for a “moral uprising” against then-President Donald Trump while proposing the creation of the Department of Peace. She also argued that the federal government should pay large financial reparations to Black Americans as atonement for centuries of slavery and discrimination.

Her second White House bid featured the same nontraditional campaigning style and many of the same policy proposals. But she struggled to raise money and was plagued by staff departures from her bid’s earliest stages.

She tweaked Mr. Biden, an avid Amtrak fan, by kicking off her campaign at Washington’s Union Station and campaigned especially hard in New Hampshire, hoping to capitalize on state Democrats’ frustration with the president.

That followed a new plan by the Democratic National Committee, championed by Mr. Biden, that reordered the party’s 2024 presidential primary calendar by leading off with South Carolina on Feb. 3.

Also Read | How is the poll year shaping up for India, the U.S.? | Explained

Ms. Williamson acknowledged from the start that it was unlikely she would beat Mr. Biden, but she argued in her launch speech in March that “it is our job to create a vision of justice and love that is so powerful that it will override the forces of hatred and injustice and fear.”

A Texas native who now lives in Beverly Hills, California, Mr. Williamson is the author of more than a dozen books and ran an unsuccessful independent congressional campaign in California in 2014. She ended her 2020 presidential run shortly before the leadoff Iowa caucuses, announcing that she didn’t want to take progressive support from Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who was ultimately the last candidate to drop out before Mr. Biden locked up the nomination.

In exiting this cycle's race she wrote that "while we did not succeed at running a winning political campaign, I know in my heart that we impacted the political ethers.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.