Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Williamson Is In

Earlier this week, Marianne Williamson implied that she would be announcing a presidential bid on March 4. Apparently, she just couldn't wait, though, because yesterday she gave an interview to Medill News Service confirming that she is entering the race.

For those who haven't heard of Medill News Service—which is probably 99.5% of readers—it's a version of what the AP and Reuters do, except it's run by Northwestern University, with an eye towards providing opportunities for student journalists and for graduates of the Medill School. In other words, we're at least a couple of steps below The New York Times and The Washington Post, here. And if that's the biggest outlet that Williamson could get interested in her "big" announcement, it runs rather contrary to the headline on the interview, which describes the wannabe president as the "FIRST PROMINENT DEMOCRAT IN 2024 RACE." We are not entirely persuaded that she's really a Democrat, since she spent much of her life as a registered independent. And we're definitely not persuaded that she's prominent.

That said, the announcement has two obvious significances. The first, which we have pointed out before, is that the barely-a-Democrat Williamson is unconcerned with the DNC or with its rules. So, if the Party tries to tinker around with the calendar, and threatens to punish Democrats who do not fall into line, Williamson will ignore that. Under the right circumstances, she could "win" New Hampshire as the only name on the ballot. The DNC doesn't want her to get that kind of exposure, so her presence makes it much harder for them to force changes in the calendar.

The other significance is that Williamson is going to let Joe Biden have it with both barrels, as she searches for attention and for some traction. And as she is allegedly a "prominent Democrat," her pronouncements will get way more attention than they should. This is particularly true for right-wing outlets, and will be particularly true for as long as she's the only visible non-Biden candidate in the race. Since serious Democrats are staying out (unless Biden announces he's not running again), Williamson could be getting lots of attention and headlines for the next 12 months.

That said, she's not likely to get much attention from us, unless she does or says something that we think might actually have some meaningful impact. Since she did not manage to do or say anything like that in 2019-20, we think it unlikely that she will pull it off in 2023-24. (Z)

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