How the Obama Playbook Could Have Helped Jon Ossoff to Victory in Georgia's 6th District Congressional Race
When you make your political comeback—here are a few things you may want to bear in mind. I know—everybody’s playing Monday morning quarterback about your congressional campaign these days. By now, you’re probably sick of it all. But I’m coming from a decent place, so I hope you or someone on your staff may find something useful in it down the road.
Shortly after it was published in 2002, I went to a bookstore near Atlanta’s Northlake Mall to pick up a copy of Randall Kennedy’s intriguingly titled book, Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word. A professor at Harvard Law, Kennedy was a Rhodes Scholar who served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Kennedy’s first book, Race, Crime and the Law, won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 1998. If this man was taking on the dreaded N-word from a legal and historical perspective, I wanted to know what he had to say.
When I got to chain-operated Waldenbooks, I looked everywhere but couldn’t find it even though it had already generated two stories in the New York Times and been touted by Publishers Weekly as a sure bestseller. Finally, I had no choice but to ask the white cashier near the entrance if the store had a copy. She checked her database and told me there appeared to be copies in the back. “Hey Zack,” she called to another white clerk working near the storage area at the back of the store, “Do we have any more...uh..." and then stopped herself.
For years now, I’ve wanted to take one of those Viking River Cruises advertised at the beginning of Downton Abbey, Wolf Hall, and other Masterpiece programs on PBS. So it felt good to find myself finally peering at a ribbon of blue-green water from my own stateroom window. The sun shone upon the glittering current like a Greek medallion, and I drifted into its light with the kind of elation that usually comes only while writing.
Imagine my surprise to find upon waking that so vivid an experience was a dream. The master bedroom felt chilly and damp. I reached for the phone and asked Siri for the temperature. Mid-forties, she chirped.
On Cinco de Mayo? Was she kidding?
Last night I dreamed I saw Kellyanne Conway kneeling on a sofa in the White House while a choir of well-dressed African-Americans gathered prayerfully around the orange president. She gazed fixedly at the irradiated screen of a handheld device, while the hem of her skirt found a resting place above her knees. I have seen women posed this way on the cover of Playboy and also upon bumper stickers and decals fastened to pickup trucks. But I never dreamed this straddle might pass for decorum in the nation’s capital. Until now.
Do Stories about Past Evil Keep Hate Alive? Or Can a Priest's Crisis of Faith Illuminate the Post-Truth World of Election 2016?
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