WASHINGTON — Marianne Williamson confirmed in an interview with Medill News Service on Thursday that she is running for president as a Democrat, becoming the first announced candidate for the party. The best-selling spiritual author and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is holding an event in Washington on March 4 to officially launch her campaign. 

When asked if she was running, Wiliamson said, “We’re on the phone, but if we were on FaceTime, you’d see me wink.” 

“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 added. 

In 2020, Williamson ran a long-shot campaign with the slogan “join the evolution,” a play on “revolution,” having never served in elected office. She dropped out of the race in January before any primary, polling at less than 1 percent

This time, though, other Democrats who aspire to the office have yet to announce any intentions to run, waiting to see President Biden’s moves. The president has indicated that he will run for reelection but hasn’t yet made a formal announcement. Several prominent Republicans have already announced their candidacy, including former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

In the interview, Williamson described the country as in the midst of a threat of authoritarianism, where corporate oligarchs, fossil fuel companies, gun manufacturers, and the military industrial complex “suck the juice” out of democracy. She said lawmakers are not doing enough to curtail corporate power. 

“People who run the government are divided into two categories, those who either don’t care to fix it, or do not have the spine to fix it. And neither category should be running this country,” she said.

Earlier this month, the Democratic Party voted to change the order of presidential primaries in the 2024 election, with South Carolina replacing Iowa as the first primary state. Williamson described the move as an effort to engineer the primary in favor of Biden. 

“How can you claim to be a champion of democracy when your own process is so undemocratic?”

During her previous candidacy, Williamson said the media intentionally mischaracterized her work and mission. 

“They tried to paint me as silly, they tried to paint me as unserious because they know I’m not,” she said.

Despite her frustrations with the state of politics, Williamson remained hopeful that Americans, specifically young people, will rise to the occasion of this moment. 

“What we’re experiencing is the latest iteration of forces who put their property rights and their short term economic gain before the health, safety and well being of the majority of people. Other generations have pushed back against that. Now it’s our turn to do that.” 

Williamson’s campaign announcement event will take place at 2 p.m. on March 4, and will be  available via livestream on Williamson’s social media link.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said Williamson described the country as “in the midst of authoritarianism.” Williamson said “in the midst of a threat of authoritarianism.”