Spiritual-guru, best-selling author and 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson has reached the threshold needed to qualify for the Democratic debates set for late June, according to her campaign.
“What I’m trying to do is tell the truth as fiercely and as accurately as I know it,” Williamson told ABC News recently of her candidacy.
As the Democratic field widens to 21 presidential candidates following Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s 2020 announcement last Thursday, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is preparing to take on 20 candidates to the debate, establishing tiebreakers to choose the final pick. If those who qualify surpasses 20 contenders, candidates who meet both polling and donor requirements will qualify first, followed by candidates with the highest polling, followed by candidates with the most unique donors. Each debate will include no more than 10 candidates chosen at random from a pool of those who qualify.
As of now, presidential hopefuls like Bennet, Mayor Wayne Messam, Rep. Seth Moulton are still in jeopardy of not making the cut.
As a celebrity self-help author with no prior experience in public office, Williamson embraces being the atypical presidential candidate.
“I think it’s preposterous to think that someone who has had years and years of experience, who got us into this ditch, are the only people qualified for leading us out of the ditch,” Williamson said. “I just want to talk about a vision for the United States that I believe is not being articulated by the dominant political establishment.” Williamson laid out her vision to voters during a four-day tour through Iowa, calling for reparations for African-American descendants of U.S. slaves, clean energy, and a new Department of Children and Youth to aid in providing government-funded services for at-risk youth across America.
Williamson told the crowd of voters why child advocacy is a top priority in her presidential campaign while speaking at a Democrats Hall of Fame fundraising dinner in Clinton, Iowa last Friday.
“There are millions of children who live with chronic trauma, who go to schools in this country that don’t have adequate school supplies to teach a child to read. And yes, some of those school are in Iowa. If a child does not learn to read they have a drastically diminished chance of graduating high school and an increased chance of mass incarceration,” Williamson said.
Patricia Ewing, communications director for Williamson's campaign, says the 66-year-old candidate's long career of helping people suffering from trauma makes her uniquely qualified for office.
“For over 35 years she’s been helping people with the problems that politicians have created in their policy,” Ewing said. "What we see is an atypical presidential run where you actually have to go out and meet people and shake hands and we see her on the rise.”
Williamson has already earned over $1.5 million in fundraising money, according to the Federal Election Commission, but she still trails at 1% in the polls, making a primary win an uphill battle.
“I can either be fully invested in this moment and easily attached to telling the truth as I see it, and providing that as an option for people, or I can be worried about whether, or not I get into the debates,” Williamson said. “Obviously, the chances of me becoming president, if you’re going to look at it a certain way, is very small, but on the other hand, Donald Trump is president and the same people that say I have no chance said that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in and Donald Trump had no chance. So, I think we should leave all of this in the hands of the American people.”