Marianne Williamson stands out from Democratic field with eccentric debate display

Marianne Williamson was one of six Democratic presidential candidates polling nationally around 1% or less before Thursday night’s debate.

And while the 66-year-old New York Times best-selling author might not see those numbers soar after her performance in the televised Democrat showdown, she was among the most talked about on social media. 

The motivational speaker and Texas native went into the contest as arguably the least known of the White House hopefuls. 

But her name was soon trending on Twitter after she explained how her spirituality-focused campaign can heal America. 

She largely remained sidelined on the stage for the opening exchanges, remaining mostly silent for the first half hour.

Gradually she inserted herself into some discussions, but she rambled, usually tapering off mid-idea after introducing non sequiturs – for example, bringing the 1969 moon landing into an argument about climate change and generational differences.

As all candidates savaged Donald Trump for his immigration policy of separating children, Ms Williamson offered a more scathing rebuke, likening the policies to "kidnapping" and "child abuse."

"These are state-sponsored crimes," she said.

When it came to the subject of healthcare, she raised eyebrows by saying: "It’s really nice that we got all these plans, but if you think we’re going to beat Donald Trump just by having all these plans, you got another thing coming."

She dismissed them as "superficial fixes" and urged Democrats to "go deeper". 

Democrat candidates

When asked what she would do on her first day in the White House, she said she would call the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who had said that her aim was to make the country the best place in the world for a child to grow up. 

"And I will tell her ‘Girlfriend, you are so on’, because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up," she added.

In her closing remarks, she said she was "going to harness love for political purposes". Addressing Mr Trump, she added: "Sir, love will win."  

A 1992 interview on Oprah Winfrey’s show propelled Williamson to make a name for herself as a “spiritual guide” for Hollywood and a self-help expert.

A glance at her Twitter account from several years ago reveals some of her thoughts on spirituality, as well as a high regard for the film Avatar.

 She is calling for $100 billion in reparations for slavery over 10 years, gun control, education reform and equal rights for lesbian and gay communities.

In 2014, she made an unsuccessful bid for a House seat in California as an independent.

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