Democrats Against Biden In US Polls

US presidential elections will take place in November

Washington:

One is a best-selling self-help writer, the other a US congressman — and both are applying their rhetorical talents to pitch themselves to Democrats as better bets than President Joe Biden to beat Donald Trump in November.

Short of a major upset, Americans are unlikely ever to find out.

Biden is expected to cruise past Marianne Williamson and Dean Phillips as he kicks off his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in South Carolina’s primary on Saturday. 

Harnessing love

Williamson tried her luck once before, in the 2020 presidential race, but dropped out before a single vote had been cast. 

Known to Americans for her many books on love, the 71-year-old is trying again in 2024 but got off to an inauspicious start — winning just four percent in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation Democratic primary.

Her failure looked all the more abject since Biden scored 64 percent without even appearing on the ballot due to a row with local officials.

Williamson’s 5,000 votes barely kept her above non-credible contenders who have had almost no television time, with names like Paperboy Prince, President Boddie and even Vermin Supreme.

But she tasted literary success before political disappointment, penning a debut book — “A Return to Love” (1992) — that became a bestseller.

She went on to become a regular on television and has since published more than a dozen other works. 

For Williamson, love is the credo of her career but also the motivating force behind her presidential campaigns. 

In 2019, during her first Democratic primary, she said of Donald Trump: “You have harnessed fear for political purposes and only love can cast that out.” 

The phrase gave her a second taste of stardom, albeit briefly, on social media. 

She has since tried to shed her “spiritual guru” image somewhat, arguing for tangible policy goals such as universal health coverage, free university tuition and parental leave. 

So why not pressure Biden to espouse these measures and get behind his campaign? 

“We owe President Biden a debt of gratitude for defeating President Trump in 2020,” she says in a campaign video.

But she adds that Biden is not best equipped to handle everything the Republicans “are going to be throwing at us in 2024.”

‘Dean Who?’

Hands in pockets, leaning against a truck, Dean Phillips waits for the attendees who will never arrive for an empty campaign event. 

It’s a familiar scene for the gelato magnate and Minnesota congressman who is also running against Biden, and whose campaign is struggling to generate much enthusiasm. 

And for a good reason: the vast majority of the Democratic Party has already rallied behind the president’s candidacy. 

Phillips, one of the wealthiest members of the US Congress, has largely financed his campaign, which has focused on Biden’s age. 

If Biden wins a second term, he will be 86 when he leaves the White House. 

The 50-year-old Phillips is urging the octogenarian president to “pass the torch,” believing that it will soon be “impossible” for him to carry out his duties.

Phillips, too, had a disastrous start to his campaign — coming second in New Hampshire but unable to stay within 40 points of Biden, even though there was no box on the ballot to tick for the president and his supporters had to write in his name. 

Aware of his enthusiasm deficit — only a few days ago, he was forced repeatedly to ask an audience in South Carolina to pay attention as he spoke from the stage — Phillips is seeing the funny side. 

On his campaign website, the candidate is now offering “Dean Who?” caps for sale. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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