In the living room of an apartment near Wall Street last month, a group of supporters huddled around a large television watching as their candidate, Marianne Williamson, made her debut on the debate stage. The host pulled her hair nervously.
Ms. Williamson's start had been shaky, but there were some breakout moments. Then her dramatic closing. "Mr. President, if you're listening, I want you to hear me, please: You have harnessed fear for political purposes, and only love can cast that out."
She went on, building now: "I'm going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field. And, sir, love will win."