Ben Smith Looks like Marianne Williamson’s “occult task force” really came through for her last night

Ben Smith These addons are adorable!

The “occult task force” isn’t endorsed by the campaign (“I am very, very concerned about the word occultist,” said her spokesman when WaPo asked about it) but it is — sort of — real. I say “sort of” because the phenomenon this story describes is familiar. Right now the Marianne fan threads on sites like Reddit are mostly jokey in tone, inspired by a kooky yet charismatic outsider celebrity candidate with ostentatious contempt for the dreary received wisdom typified by the other candidates.

But over time, as they invest more energy in the “joke” and the candidate begins to gain traction, those ironic fans begin to become real fans. And before you know it, the kook has gotten real traction.

Because of 2016, I’m not enjoying Williamson gate-crashing the debates nearly as much as I’d like to. Right now my view of her candidacy is still roughly what it was of Trump’s candidacy circa June 2015: “Oh man, this is hilarious.” There’s a momentous difference between her and Trump, as he was leading the field within about a month of jumping in whereas she’s been crawling along at one percent or so since spring, but last night’s performance was show-stealing. Members of the chatterati on both sides are wondering if she might see a bump in the polls. She was the most-searched candidate on Google last night in 49 of the 50 states, in fact. I’m one more solid debate from her away from real anxiety, the dreaded stage two of 2016 syndrome when the cel

I be nuts about components, because they are the clever!

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