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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Alvin Greene, Proving American Politics Is Never Predictable



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It’s Not Easy Being Greene, but Apparently He Wins Easily

So let’s dissect what we know about Alvin Greene, the Democrats’ choice to run against incumbent Republican Jim DeMint. The Island Packet summarizes: “Greene, an unemployed 32-year-old who lives with his parents in Manning, was hardly visible on the campaign trail, even ignoring a stump rally in his hometown. Still, he trounced rival Democrat Vic Rawl, a former judge and state lawmaker who serves on Charleston County Council. Greene spent no money campaigning and did not have a website, but improbably captured 59 percent of the vote and won all but four counties. Rawl campaigned across the state, raised about $250,000, sent out about 260,000 e-mails, and was left scratching his head Tuesday night as results came in. The day after the election, Rawl canceled a fundraising event he had scheduled for today for his expected November campaign and kicked himself for not investigating his opponent’s background. ‘I feel kind of silly that we didn’t check all of that, but then again, why would we?’ he said. ‘I never met him, never saw a sign, never saw a bumper sticker.’”

The Washington Post adds, “in a three-hour interview, the unemployed military veteran could not name a single specific thing he’d done to campaign . . . He faces felony obscenity charges for allegedly showing pornography to a University of South Carolina student last November.”

I like the Al Green theory; Don Surber offers one that works if the voters had seen both candidates, which at this point doesn’t seem to have been the case: “Greene is black, Rawl is white. In identity politics, maybe the overwhelming majority of Democratic primary voters decided that they could beat incumbent Republican Senator Jim DeMint (who was re-nominated) with a black man. It may just be identity politics.”

In Rightworld, there’s skepticism of the popular theory that somehow he’s a pawn of the South Carolina Republicans. Allahpundit, writing at Hot Air: “To answer Olby’s question about whether Greene’s a GOP plant, the more I think about it, the more implausible it seems. If you were a Republican strategist desperate to clear a path to victory for your party’s nominee, why would you bother with shenanigans in a state like South Carolina, where DeMint’s a mortal lock to be re-elected? And if you’re going to go to the trouble of choosing a plant and risking all the bad publicity and possible criminal repercussions that come with that, wouldn’t you plant someone who’s a tad more compelling? The goal would be to lose the general election to DeMint but to win the primary, and to do that most strategists would assume they needed a plant with some minimal degree of competence. As it turns out, they would have been dead wrong — but not until the votes were tallied could anyone have known that. Plus, like DrewM says, this is the South Carolina GOP we’re talking about. At this point, does anyone think that crew could pull this off?”

Would you entrust Alvin Greene with a grand conspiracy to pull a massive con on the voters of South Carolina? Let’s start smaller: would you trust Alvin Greene to water your plants while you’re away?

Keep in mind that even if the $10,000 check that got Greene into the race originated from a joint PAC operated by the Illuminati, the Bilderbergs, NBA referees and the Stonecutters, you still can’t get around the wonderfully weird fact that roughly 99,000 South Carolina Democrats voted for him knowing almost nothing about him, twenty percentage points over a standard issue local-official/sacrificial lamb.

Frank J: “Alvin Greene is [so] horrible as a candidate I can’t bring myself to make fun of him. It just seems cruel.”

Then again, he suddenly appeared out of nowhere, disappeared just as fast, and then with no discernable effort cleaned the clock of all his foes. Who is Alvin Greene? Based on available evidence, just the flippin-flappin’ Kaiser Soze of American politics. Senator DeMint, don’t underestimate this guy!


Tags: Alvin Greene , Jim DeMint


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