June 21, 2010
By now many of you have heard the strange tale of Alvin Greene, the 32 year old black man who won the South Carolina democratic nomination for US Senate. For those who have not, let me entertain you with the current shenanigans regarding his candidacy.
In a state that has had only one black Congressman since the 1800’s, one would assume that the Democratic Party would have had immense support for Mr. Greene’s candidacy (especially considering that South Carolina currently seats a black congressmen). Strangely enough, no one in his own party had ever even heard of him. Moreover, he attended zero local party functions, gave zero speeches, and raised virtually no campaign money (his campaign account now contains a robust $114), and he didn’t even attend the state Democratic Party convention. Greene had no campaign website (actually he doesn’t even own a computer, he admits to checking his email a couple of times per week at the library), no lawn signs, and he didn’t even know how many campaign fliers his team made (his team is made up only of family and close friends). All of this may sound very strange, but somehow he won almost 60% of the vote against the incumbent Vic Rawl. What is even stranger is that Greene has been unemployed since 2009, yet somehow produced the $10,400 to secure a spot in the race. Where do unemployed people get a spare 10k from? Yet even stranger is that Greene apparently has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina, but he sounds like a blubbering idiot on every interview he’s been on (see him here: Alvin Greene 1, Alvin Greene 2). He literally repeats the same answers on every interview, and in some cases you can hear someone off camera feeding him information. When he is badgered about how he could have possibly won against such lengthy odds, his response is always “just old fashioned campaigning.” That answer is barely palatable with no collateral information, but it’s even more ridiculous because he can’t name a single city or town that he visited. His answer when asked exactly where he did all of this alleged old fashioned campaigning is always, “all over the state.”
Where does a young black man in a state with the history that SC has conjure up the idea of running for US Senate? Greene says it came to him while he was serving in Korea. The Pentagon confirms that Greene served in the army and the air force; he admits to receiving an “involuntary honorable discharge” in 2009. Despite serving in two branches of the armed forces, Greene couldn’t produce one service connected picture of himself (yet he did show many of his baby photos) in one very saddening interview. Watching him is like watching a young child with no helmet or pads repeatedly fall of a bicycle. The last bit of strange information about this campaign is that Greene is currently facing felony charges of showing pornography to a minor, and he may not even be available for the November voting! When asked about the charges he typically responds with a no comment, but on the one occasion when he did elaborate, it was an incoherent, indecipherable collection of words.
So far the four most popular theories on how Greene could have possibly beat Rawl are:
1. His name alphabetically came before Vic Rawl’s so voters just chose the 1st name they saw. I would agree with this if both candidates were unknowns. Rawl was the incumbent, so people knew who he was (and he actually had a campaign website).
2. Greene mobilized the black vote similar to Barack Obama. This is totally impossible as no one even knew who the guy was, and there are no pictures on the ballots.
3. Greene is a campaigning savant, and he is so stealth and precise that he gets the word out without his competition even knowing. This is easily refuted, as the Democratic Party hadn’t even heard of him, and he can’t even recall a single city where he campaigned.
4. He is a Republican plant. South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, a Democrat, is convinced some shenanigans are going on, and has formally asked for a Federal investigation into Greene’s campaign. Clyburn alludes to similar past instances in South Carolina’s political history. Furthermore, the state’s Democratic Party chairwoman has asked Greene to withdraw from the election. Greene repeatedly states that he will not withdraw, he is not a plant, and that he has “always been a Democrat.” To complicate matters even further, South Carolina has an open voting policy, so Republicans can vote in the Democratic primaries, and vice versa. That being said, why would Republicans support such an egregiously horrible candidate? If they were going to plant someone, it would at least make sense to plant someone who seems remotely credible, and isn’t facing felony obscenity charges.
No matter the outcome of Alvin Greene’s “old fashioned campaign” for South Carolina senate, I will be watching every second of it like its game 7 of the NBA or NHL finals or Superbowl rolled into one.