Former Campaign Workers Say Williamson Was 'Terrifying'

'It would be foaming, spitting, uncontrollable rage'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2023 9:34 AM CDT
Former Campaign Workers Say Williamson Was a Terrible Boss
Self-help author Marianne Williamson speaks to the crowd as she launches her 2024 presidential campaign in Washington, Saturday, March 4, 2023.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

People who worked on Marianne Williamson's 2020 presidential campaign say people considering joining the team for her 2024 run should be aware that the self-help author's private behavior is very different from her public persona. Politico reports that it spoke to a dozen former staffers who described Williamson as a cruel, abusive boss prone to explosive fits of anger. The former staffers acknowledge that such criticisms are sometimes unfairly aimed at female leaders, but they say Williamson's behavior was "beyond the boundaries of acceptable regardless of her gender"—and beyond what's acceptable in a stressful presidential campaign.

The former campaign workers say Williamson was unpredictable and could become enraged by minor setbacks. "It would be foaming, spitting, uncontrollable rage,” one former staffer says. "It was traumatic. And the experience, in the end, was terrifying." Former staffers say Williamson would throw phones at workers and scream at them until they cried. Four former staffers say she once become so angry about the logistics of a trip to South Carolina that she injured her hand pounding on a car door. Williamson, in an email to Politico, acknowledged the car door incident but said she would "never be physically hurtful to a person." She described other accusations as "slanderous" and "categorically untrue."

Politico says the former staffers it spoke to chose to remain anonymous because they were worried about being sued under nondisclosure agreements that Williamson had told them would be strictly enforced. Former US Rep. Paul Hodes, Williamson's New Hampshire state director in 2020, says the ex-staffers' accounts are "entirely consistent" with his observations and his "own personal experience with her behavior on multiple occasions." In a resignation email in August 2019, Iowa campaign director Robert Becker said Williamson's treatment of staff was "belittling, abusive, dehumanizing, and unacceptable" and he could not "in good faith subject any future campaign hires to this kind of vitriol." (More Marianne Williamson stories.)

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