Marianne Williamson’s 2020 presidential campaign has gained momentum as the self-help guru became the most-searched for candidate during Tuesday’s debate in Detroit.
Williamson and nine other presidential hopefuls fought to stand out over the course of the three-hour showdown – the first half of the party’s second debate.
Google Trends data showed the author was the most-searched candidate in 49 states during the debate. The only state where she didn’t dominate search trends was Montana, where Gov Steve Bullock took that slot.
While she took up the second-shortest amount of speaking time at eight minutes and 52 seconds, per CNN, Williamson dominated a Drudge poll as over 47 percent of viewers declared her the winner of the debate.
She drove discussion online, as much for her quirky mannerisms and new-age jargon as for her policy ideas.
Perhaps Williamson’s most impactful moment was when she appeared to ‘yodel’ while delivering a lecture on healthcare – while her comment about President Donald Trump inspiring ‘dark psychic forces’ was a close second.
While she took up the second-shortest amount of speaking time at eight minutes and 52 seconds, per CNN, Williamson dominated a Drudge poll as over 47 percent of viewers declared her the winner of the debate. The author was all smiles as she spoke to reporters afterward
The graphic above shows the change in Google Trends data on most searched candidates before and during the debate. Before the debate Sanders, Warren, Williamson, Bullock and Klobuchar split the map, but as soon as it started Williamson became the most-searched in 49 states. The only state she didn’t dominate was Montana, where Bullock is governor
Williamson and nine other presidential hopefuls fought to stand out over the course of the three-hour showdown – the first half of the party’s second debate. On the stage from left to right are: Marianne Williamson, Tim Ryan, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, John Hickenlooper, John Delaney and Steve Bullock
There were very few breakout moments across the debate as candidates teetered between slamming Trump and attacking each other, unsure whether to spend their time onstage trying to win the primary contest or the 2020 general election.
Front-runner Elizabeth Warren, who dominated the first debate last month, gave another strong performance and took up the most air time at 18 minutes and 33 seconds.
The Massachusetts senator and her closest competitor, Vermont Sen Bernie Sanders, shared the majority of the attacks from fellow candidates seizing on their socialist platforms.
They both came out on top with speaking time, Sanders trailing Warren at 17 minutes and 45 seconds, as CNN allowed candidates extra time to respond to direct attacks.
Warren was declared the winner of the first debate but received little credit for it as she wasn’t up against any top five candidates.
This time her performance is expected to have more of an impact as she was sharing the stage with
Analyst Bill Palmer picked Warren as his winner again this time, saying her performance will have more of an impact given that she was sharing the stage with Sanders and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Palmer felt that Sanders didn’t do himself any favors.
‘Warren has been climbing in the polls over the past month, partly at Bernie’s expense,’ he
CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza disagreed, naming Sanders as one of his winners.
‘He came out feisty — and stayed that way,’ he
‘Sure, Sanders probably came across to some people as irascible and scoldy. But for liberals looking for Sanders to stand up proudly and unapologetically for the need for huge structural change in our politics and our culture got exactly what they wanted.
‘And not for nothing, Sanders clearly outshone Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in this debate.’
Front-runners Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren took up the most air time as they shared the majority of the attacks from fellow candidates seizing on their socialist platforms
Buttigieg was one of the steadiest candidates on the stage, but Palmer said he also didn’t fare as well as he did in the first debate.
‘He did well enough tonight, but he was hurt by not being on stage with [Kamala] Harris and [Joe] Biden,’ he wrote.
Cillizza agreed that Buttigieg played it safe, but praised his ‘clear message: I am young, yes, but the older people on stage with me haven’t fixed any of these problems, so it’s time for something different.’
The three moderate candidates who came in with the lowest poll numbers – former Maryland congressman John Delaney, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and Ohio Rep Tim Ryan – appeared to have the same strategy of standing out by taking on Sanders and Warren.
The plan backfired as they each made several of the same point and morphed into one voice.
Delaney’s only breakout moment came as he went head to head with Warren, who, as Palmer put it, ‘steamrolled him to the point that it was almost comical’.
Bullock was the most effective moderate on the stage, spending much of his 11 minutes of speaking time blasting ‘wish-list economics’ and pie-in-the-sky policies while touting his track record in GOP territory.
‘If moderates were looking for someone other than former Vice President Joe Biden to support in this primary, Bullock offered himself as a viable alternative,’ Cillizza wrote.
Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and Minnesota Sen Amy Klobuchar came out swinging but failed to land any breakout blows. They each spoke for just under 11 minutes
Both former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and Minnesota Sen Amy Klobuchar came out swinging but failed to land any breakout blows. They each spoke for just under 11 minutes.
Cillizza said of O’Rourke: ‘While he was mildly more energetic than in the first debate, there were large swaths of the debate where he simply disappeared from the conversation.
‘And too many times when he did have a chance to speak, he sounded too rehearsed and wooden, a problem that plagued him in the first debate.
Klobuchar, Cillizza says, appeared to be ‘treading water in search of a moment or surge’.
With night one down, all eyes are now on California Sen Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden – who should have plenty to say about Tuesday’s debate.
Marianne Williamson’s greatest debate hits – including a ‘Seinfeld’ hat-tip and a YODEL
Only one other Democrat spoke less than new-age guru Marianne Williamson during the July 30, 2019 primary debate, but she made the most of her time, dominating online discussion afterward with quips, quotables – and even a yodel.
‘DARK PSYCHIC FORCES’
Williamson warned against substituting policy intellectual discussions for emotional appeals to thwart President Trump’s use of racially charged language:
‘If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.’
SLAVERY’S ‘EMOTIONAL TURBULENCE’
Williamson defended her recommendation to devote as much as $500 billion to paying reparations to the descendants of African slaves:
‘People heal when there’s some deep truth-telling. We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with. That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery followed by another hundred years of domestic terrorism.
‘What makes me qualified to say $200 billion to $500 billion? I’ll tell you what makes me qualified. If you did the math of the 40 acres and a mule, given that there was 4 million to 5 million slaves at the end of the Civil War, four to five — and they were all promised 40 acres and a mule for every family of four, if you did the math today, it would be trillions of dollars. And I believe that anything less than $100 billion is an insult.
‘And I believe that $200 billion to $500 billion is politically feasible today, because so many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface, an emotional turbulence that only reparations will heal.’
A ‘SEINFELD’ MOMENT
Asked about gun violence, Williamson lumped it into a longer list of Democratic bugbears that she believes can be defeated by taking their money out of the American political system. She ended with a hat-tip to a 1997 episode of ‘Seinfeld’:
‘The issue of gun safety, of course, is that the NRA has us in a chokehold, but so do the pharmaceutical companies, so do the health insurance companies, so do the fossil fuel companies, and so do the defense contractors, and none of this will change until we either pass a constitutional amendment or pass legislation that establishes public funding for federal campaigns.
‘But for politicians, including my fellow candidates, who themselves have taken tens of thousands — and in some cases, hundreds of thousands — of dollars from these same corporate donors to think that they now have the moral authority to say we’re going to take them on, I don’t think the Democratic Party should be surprised that so many Americans believe – “Yada, yada, yada”.’
As Williamson schooled her opponents on how to avoid letting Republicans outmaneuver them on healthcare, her voice suddenly jumped octaves:
‘I have to say, I’m normally way over there with Bernie and Elizabeth on this one,’ she said. But an unexpected vocal tic made it sound like ‘I’m normally way-ee-ay over there.’