Marianne Williamson, the self-help author and former spiritual advisor to television mogul Oprah Winfrey, has announced she will challenge President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary election next year.
In an interview with Northwestern University’s Medill News Service, Ms Williamson, who was also a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, said she would be running 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,” she said.
Ms Williamson’s 2020 campaign launched in January 2019 and lasted just under a year before she suspended it. During that time, she participated in several Democratic primary debates and garnered a measure of notoriety for making statements widely considered bizarre, such as a vow to make then-New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern the first head of government she would call as president, and an assertion that she would win the election by "harness[ing] love for political purposes" against then-president Donald Trump.
A month after dropping out of the 2020 race, she appeared with Senator Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally and announced she was endorsing the Vermonter, who was then in a competitive race for the Democratic nomination with Mr Biden.
In her interview with Medill News Service, Ms Williamson criticised Mr Biden for supporting a change in the Democratic primary calendar to make South Carolina’s primary the first sanctioned intra-party contest in an effort to give the Palmetto State’s more diverse electorate a larger voice than the smaller, more white populations of Iowa and New Hampshire.
The author suggested it was an effort to rig the process in favour of the incumbent president, who in 2020 won the South Carolina primary overwhelmingly.
She asked: “How can you claim to be a champion of democracy when your own process is so undemocratic?”
Ms Williamson also complained about media coverage of her prior campaign, asserting that the press “tried to paint me as silly”.
“They tried to paint me as unserious because they know I’m not,” she added.
An official announcement video will be released on her social media channels on 4 March, she said.