Biden draws first Democratic challenger for 2024 as Marianne Williamson confirms plans to launch bid

Spiritual adviser and bestselling self-help author Marianne Williamson is making a second straight run for the White House and taking aim at President Biden.

Williamson, who called for reparations and a Department of Peace as part of her long-shot campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, declared she plans to launch her candidacy for president in 2024 in an exclusive interview with Medill News Service on Thursday.

‘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 said.

With many leaders in the Democratic Party from both the establishment and progressive wings saying they will support Biden, who is expected in the coming weeks or months to announce his re-election campaign, Williamson becomes the first Democrat with a national following to primary challenge the 80-year-old president.

‘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.

And in a press release a week ago, Williamson spotlighted that she was exploring ‘the possibility of running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2024.’

‘As America gears up for the 2024 presidential election, I’m preparing for an important announcement on March 4th in Washington DC,’ she advertised.

An adviser in the White House contender’s political circle told Fox News earlier this week that Williamson will travel to South Carolina, New Hampshire, Michigan and Nevada after March 4. 

‘You can appreciate what the president has done — defeating the Republicans in 2020 — and still feel it is time to move on,’ Williamson said Tuesday in an interview on a New Hampshire news-talk morning radio program.

Williamson told host Jack Heath on ‘Good Morning New Hampshire’ that ‘many of us, myself included, feel that in order for the Democrats to win in 2024, we’re going to have to be able to offer to the American people something much more than’ what she says Biden is offering.

During the 2020 cycle, Williamson was an unconventional candidate who preached the politics of love. She emphasized ‘six pillars for a season of moral repair,’ including economic justice. She proposed creating a Department of Children and Youths and a Department of Peace, and she pushed for reparations for the descendants of African-American slaves. Among her unorthodox acts was holding a meditation session while campaigning in New Hampshire.

But Williamson struggled with fundraising and failed to qualify for most of the Democrat presidential debates. Days after laying off most of her small staff, she dropped out of the race in January 2020, just ahead of the start of the nomination primaries and caucuses.

‘With caucuses and primaries now about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now,’ she said at the time. And pointing to what at that moment was a very competitive race for the Democratic nomination, Williamson added that she didn’t want to ‘get in the way of a progressive candidate winning.’

Williamson traveled to New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago, ahead of her 2024 announcement, and it’s likely she’ll spend plenty of her time campaigning there going forward. That comes as no surprise as political strategists have said that if there’s going to be a primary challenge against Biden, New Hampshire appears to be the state where the action will take place.

‘Now you have everyone who wants to take a shot at Biden coming to New Hampshire to do it,’ a longtime Granite State-based progressive strategist recently told Fox News as he pointed toward the near certainty of the state holding an unsanctioned Democrat presidential primary next year. ‘New Hampshire is the place where it’s happening.’

New Hampshire, which prides itself on its well-informed electorate and its emphasis on small-scale and grassroots retail politics, has for a century held the first primary in the race for the White House. While Republicans are making no changes to their presidential nominating calendar in the 2024 election cycle, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) earlier this month voted overwhelmingly to approve a new top of the calendar pushed by Biden that upends the traditional schedule.

New Hampshire will now vote second in the DNC’s calendar, along with Nevada, three days after South Carolina, under the new schedule. 

But Granite State Democrats warn that New Hampshire will still go first — courtesy of a long-standing state law that mandates the leadoff primary position — and that a primary not sanctioned by the DNC, where Biden doesn’t take part, could invite trouble for the president.

‘President Biden will not file for election in the New Hampshire primary, which will still go first,’ longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley emphasized on the eve of the DNC calendar vote. And he warned that ‘this will set him up, we believe, for an embarrassing situation where the first primary in the country will be won by someone other than the president. This will only fuel chatter of about Democrats divisions.’

Buckley’s prediction appears to be materializing with the arrival of Williamson.

Asked about the DNC’s nominating calendar move, she told Politico last month ‘that is spitting in the face of democracy.’

And she’s not alone.

Environmental lawyer and anti-COVID vaccine crusader Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will hold an event in New Hampshire early next month. Kennedy, the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, will hold an event on March 3 at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, which for nearly a quarter-century has been a must-stop in the Granite State for potential or actual White House contenders.

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