Marianne Williamson, the famous author and spiritual guide who briefly stole the focus of the early Democratic primary debates, has ended her campaign for president.
"The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don't want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them," Williamson said in an email to supporters Friday. "As of today, therefore, I'm suspending my campaign."
The decision came soon after she reportedly laid off her entire campaign staff. At the time, she said that the move would not be the end of her campaign.
"A politics of conscience is still yet possible," Williamson said in her statement Friday. "And yes….love will prevail."
The candidate never caught on broadly in her campaign for a more spiritual politics "that speaks to the heart," and she basically faded from the primary after failing to qualify for the fall or winter debates. But at the first debates last summer, she became a subject of fascination and a big inspiration for memes with her atypical ideas, such as the urgency of speaking to New Zealand as president.
At the peak of her political fame last summer, Williamson was criticized for her views about science, particularly over vaccinations and antidepressants. She has a small but loyal fanbase, in part rooted in her years as a spiritual leader. She was one of the first candidates in the primary last year to consistently bring up the issue of reparations for slavery, with an explicit plan for how to distribute up to $500 billion.