Author David Mitchell and Ken Lewis will be at the Beyu Cafe in Durham tonight (Monday) and tomorrow night at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, both 7 pm.
Ken Lewis ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010. The Durham attorney hoped to win the Democratic nomination by following Barack Obama’s playbook from 2008: As a progressive African-American candidate, he would dominate with black voters—equal to one-third or more of the primary electorate—and win enough white progressives to prevail over any candidate the Democratic establishment might produce.
In other words, you need a two-step, as “Ron Johnson,” the fictional candidate in author David Mitchell’s thinly veiled account of the Lewis campaign, explains it. To “mobilize a supermajority of blacks,” Johnson says in Mitchell’s “We Hold These Truths,” you must first convince black voters that you’re viable—unlike so many black candidates who predated Obama and who, because of our state’s embedded racism, simply had no chance.
A key to showing blacks that you're viable, candidate Johnson continues: