Cornel West, who is running in the presidential race as a Green Party candidate, announced on Sunday that Peter Daou is now working as his campaign manager.
The press release from West’s campaign described Daou as a “respected activist, adviser, writer, and musician” with more than 20 years of “national political experience.”
“He has advised major progressive organizations and has held senior positions in several Democratic presidential campaigns,” the press release continued. Notably, Daou previously served as campaign manager of Marianne Williamson but left “after much consideration” earlier in 2023.
West’s press release notes that Daou has been an independent since 2020 and supported the Green Party in the last presidential election cycle.
“It is an honor to be part of Dr. Cornel West’s historic campaign for president. Dr. West is a man of deep personal integrity, great accomplishment, and far-reaching vision,” Daou said in a statement provided in the press release.
His presence in the 2024 race gives voters an exceptional choice for truth and justice beyond the corrupt and corrosive duopoly. Democracy means choice, it means options for voters, not coronations and vote-shaming. It is long past time to practice democracy rather than just pay it lip service. I intend to work with Dr. West, his incredible team, the Green Party, and our allies across the political spectrum to give voice to the people.
I am so very blessed to have my dear brother @peterdaou as my campaign manager. I welcome him to our campaign and movement! We will work together for truth and justice. https://t.co/A0N7puqpRu#CornelWest2024 pic.twitter.com/11Jah5s1WU
— Cornel West (@CornelWest) September 11, 2023
The announcement comes as Democrats continue to sound the alarm over West’s presidential bid, warning that it could hurt Democrats — and, more specifically, President Biden, the likely Democrat nominee — in 2024. For some, it is all too reminiscent of the impact Green Party candidate Jill Stein had in the 2016 election, where former President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
“I think he has a very long record of service and academic thought leadership,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told the Hill of West’s third-party campaign, but she issued a bit of a caution.
“I think just right now, given the Electoral College, it’s very difficult to square the very real threat of a Republican presidency … [with] the risk of giving up the very small margin of electoral votes needed to ensure that President Biden wins,” she added.
“This is not the time in order to experiment. This is not the time to play around on the margins,” Democrat National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison said of West following the candidate’s announcement.
“What we see is a lot of folks who want to be relevant and try to be relevant in these elections and not looking at the big picture,” Harrison added.
Former President Barack Obama’s chief strategist David Axelrod issued a similar caution, asserting West’s run is “risky.”
“In 2016, the Green Party played an outsized role in tipping the election to Donald Trump. Now, with Cornel West as their likely nominee, they could easily do it again. Risky business,” Axelrod warned:
In 2016, the Green Party played an outsized role in tipping the election to Donald Trump.
Now, with Cornel West as their likely nominee, they could easily do it again.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 7, 2023
Nevertheless, West is continuing on, criticizing the Democrat Party along the way.
“They are dominated by the corporate wing, they’re dominated by the militarists when it comes to foreign policy, and that [Sanders] and AOC and the others are going to be, in a certain sense, window dressing at worst, and at best, people to appeal to every four years,” West said of the Democrat party during an appearance on Hill TV’s Rising, deeming the party beyond repair.
“But the Democratic Party is beyond redemption at this point, when it comes to seriously speaking to the needs of poor and working people,” he said.
An August survey from Emerson College showed Trump leading in a three-way matchup against Biden and West, garnering 42 percent to Biden’s 41 percent and West’s five percent support.