Marianne Williamson: ‘You Don’t Even Know What Misogyny Is Until You’ve Been a Woman Running for President’
A penthouse-gym in north-west Washington DC served as a campaign stage for the long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson last week. Athleisure-clad political consultants came and went, as if typecast from a political TV drama. The Washington monument poked between buildings in the distance.
Williamson is far from an average political candidate, even in the modern era of American politics where it often feels much of what was once unthinkable has become a scary new normal. She is not a politician, but instead an author and wellness guru, whose quixotic first tilt at the White House four years ago was far from successful but saw her grace the Democratic debates and score a viral hit with her message to Donald Trump that she would “harness love” to defeat him.
This time around, Williamson is running a tougher, more grounded campaign – treading the turf as a political outsider appalled at how America’s political elites have ignored the needs of its ordinary people.
The chances that Williamson will become Democratic nominee for president next year are very slim. But there’s no doubt that her message has the power to resonate, particularly among the young and with women, and with those who feel America’s current travails cut deep and are being ignored.
“I’ve had a 40-year-career working with people whose lives are in trouble. When I started that was the exception, not the rule. The work I did then was an adequate response to the suffering I saw in front of me, but now there seems to be a ubiquitous wave of people’s lives falling apart.”
Williamson is also increasingly clear on some of the traditional barriers she faces. Williamson, 70, is just the second woman – the first being Republican Nikki Haley – to have thrown her name into the 2024 presidential nomination contest ring. Both have received a seemingly reflexive push-back from their respective parties and some quarters of the media.