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Marianne Williamson. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Author Marianne Williamson's presidential campaign announced on Friday that she has dropped out of the 2020 race.

The big picture: Williamson, a Democrat, was considered an outlier in a field mostly comprised of longtime politicians. She built her career as a spiritual guru and never held public office. Despite penning 13 books, four of which were New York Times bestsellers, she came into the race with little political name recognition compared to her competitors.

  • Williamson did manage to achieve a few breakout moments, including during the second debate when she received raucous applause for her comments on reparations and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
  • She did not qualify for the October, November or December debates, and was polling last nationally among Democratic candidates still in the race. She had not qualified for the January debate, with the cutoff also on Friday.
  • Williamson laid off her campaign staff on Jan. 2.

What she's saying:

" I ran for president to help forge another direction for our country ... As of today ... I'm suspending my campaign."
— Marianne Williamson

Go deeper: 2020 presidential election: Track which candidates are running

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Reports: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire

Justice Stephen Breyer. Photo: MANDEL NGAN / AFP via Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire, NBC news first reported and multiple outlets confirmed on Wednesday, giving President Biden his first — and maybe only — chance to put a stamp on the high court.

What’s next: Appointing a new Supreme Court justice will be one of the longest-lasting pieces of Biden’s legacy — and could give Democrats a jolt of energy ahead of next year's midterms.

33 mins ago - Science

Blizzard likely to hit New England this weekend as "bomb cyclone" forms

Computer model projection of the precipitation and wind field from the weekend storm in the Northeast. (Earth.nullschool.net)

A powerful blizzard is likely to strike parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic beginning Friday and lasting into the weekend, with snow totals that are likely to be measured in feet.

The big picture: The joining of weather systems embedded in both the polar, or northern branch, of the jet stream and the southern branch is projected to create a bomb cyclone. Such storms undergo a process known as bombogenesis, with their minimum central air pressure readings plunging at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

Schools desperate for substitute teachers

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

School districts and officials nationwide are begging parents to step in, loosening requirements for substitute teachers and, in one case, asking the National Guard for help as last-ditch efforts to stay open amid the latest COVID-19 surge.

Why it matters: Substitute teachers have emerged as a vital part of schools' reopening efforts, but they are in short supply after years of being overlooked and undervalued.