Self-Help Guru Marianne Williamson Emerges Big Star of Second Democrat Debate

Quirky self-help author Marianne Williamson emerged as an unlikely big star of the second Democrat debate, garnering the most Google searches across America and in 49 of 50 states. She was also the fourth most-tweeted-about candidate, according to .

Before the debate began, mentions of her on social media appeared to be mostly mocking. However, as the debate continued, her responses began garnering huge applause from the studio audience, and many began reacting on social media to her performance.

American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp tweeted, with a hint of mocking, “Crow loves Marianne Williamson I hope she breaks through… oh please”:

But Donald Trump Jr. tweeted without irony, “People are gonna think that I’m trolling but compared to what else is up on this stage I think Marianne Williamson is actually winning this thing”:

Political journalists also began to note her stronger-than-expected performance.

Washington Examiner reporter and New York Post columnist Salena Zito tweeted that Williamson “is literally the voice of reason”:

New York magazine writer Olivia Nuzzi tweeted, “Jesus Christ, is Marianne Williamson going to win this debate?”:

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat noted dryly, “So we just watched Marianne Williamson win the race portion of the debate”:

National Review senior political correspondent Jim Geraghty tried to make sense of her appeal, tweeting that she is “speaking for and to everyone at home who tunes out of political arguments”:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) even took note of her appeal, tweeting, “According to audience reaction….. won the debate”:

There was still plenty of mocking from the right. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee joked that Williamson never moved on from Woodstock:

And conservative journalist Michelle Malkin joked that she would lead a “Qi Gong session” after a commercial break:

There was plenty of mocking from the left, too. Show host Jimmy Kimmel compared Williamson to the ridiculed trailer for the movie Cats:

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah tweeted a GIF of Williamson on a magic carpet:

But some liberal writers and activists appeared to express genuine fondness for her or some of her views.

Vox’s Ezra Klein tweeted that Williamson was “trending” in his heart:

Waleed Shahid, spokesman for the progressive Justice Democrats PAC — which backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 2016 and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in 2018 — tweeted, “Marianne Williamson is correct” on racism:

“You know what? I dug Marianne Williamson’s opening,” tweeted New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali:

The self-help author running for president was the most Google-searched candidate during the debate and the most-searched candidate in 49 of 50 states, with Montana as the exception.

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