Williamson trying to make a name for herself

  • Schoolkids, protestors and visitors gather in State House Plaza during the NH Cultural Arts and Heritage Day celebration on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 Jake Sheridan

  • Marianne Williamson and former U.S. Rep. Paul Hotes wave from the gallery in Re Jake Sheridan

  • Jake Sheridan Jake Sheridan—Jake Sheridan

  • Williamson poses for a selfie in Representatives Hall on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Jake Sheridan

Monitor staff
Published: 6/5/2019 8:17:10 PM

Amid musket-bearing Revolutionary War re-enactors, buzzing fourth graders waiting for a tour, and protestors with sights set on increased wages, a presidential candidate came looking to gain some traction in New Hampshire. 

Author and presidential candidate Marianne Williamson walked into the State House Wednesday morning to be introduced as a special guest. On her way in, she passed a violinist-harpist duo playing music at the N.H. Cultural Arts and Heritage Day event taking place. Those gathered on State House Plaza to continue celebrations of the building’s bicentennial didn’t seem to notice Williamson. 

Maura Willing, who was holding a sign that read “raise the minimum wage,” recognized  Williamson’s name.

“She’s that author, spiritual advisor, optimist maybe,” said Willing. 

“I don’t have any opinions on her one way or the other,” added Willing. “I’m an old fashioned person who thinks you need a little more experience in the political arena.” 

Another woman, wearing an antebellum dress as she stood near a wooden loom, knew about Williamson, but is still taking inventory of the record-setting field of Democratic candidates. 

“I saw her on television this morning, but I don’t have any thoughts one way or another,” said the woman, who identified herself as Sarah Goodwin, the first lady of New Hampshire in the 1860s.  

“I’ve tried to keep up with them, but we have 23 people in the Democratic Primary,” said the Goodwin impersonator. “I don’t know about all of them yet… it’s difficult. ”  

Rep. David Welch, a Kingston Republican, dressed in button breaches to portray a Revolutionary War soldier and sitting against a statute that he vaguely resembled, knew little of Williamson. 

“I have not heard of her,” said Welch, who brought a two-pound cannon to the State House for the day’s festivities. “There’s too many of em. You can’t even keep track.” 

As legislators rushed inside for their session to start, Williamson’s team boarded a crowded elevator. Before she joined them, the presidential candidate handed WMUR Political Director Adam Sexton a copy of her newest book, “A Politics of Love.”

 In Representatives Hall, Williamson found a seat in the front row of the gallery overlooking the almost 400 legislators gathered below. After a prayer, the national anthem, and a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting in Virginia Beach, the House welcomed guests with a roll call. Williamson’s name was third.

“Marianne Williamson, guest of Rep. Buchanan,” said Assistant Clerk Michael Coe.

After all fourteen names were called, Williamson stood and waved as representatives below glanced towards the gallery and applauded. She hung around for a few minutes, then left.

“A campaign is a long form conversation with the public,” Williamson said in the State House’s Hall of Flags. 

The end of slavery, sovereignty for women and the end of segregation all came from outside the political establishment, said Williamson, who has never served in elected office. 

“I challenge the idea that only those who are entrenched within the system that drove us into this ditch are the ones qualified to bring us out of this ditch,” she said.  

Williamson has only registered above one percent in national polls three times, but she has faith in the American people’s ability to put an outsider like herself in the White House.

“The only question is not whether or not we can, it’s whether or not we will,” said Williamson. 

A woman stopped Williamson to take a selfie, and then the candidate went outside, where she visited the cultural event’s tents for a few minutes. She left as a women’s choir sang “This Little Light of Mine.” 

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