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Alvin Greene -- a candidate for the rest of us

By Alexandra Petri

Alvin Greene is my hero.

If this 32 year-old man without a cell phone or computer, who has never held any political office, has no job and is "on the not-guilty side" of a felony charge, can become the Democratic nominee for Senate from South Carolina, then literally anyone can. That means me, or you, or that guy on the street corner who talks to cats.

Alvin Greene has given us all permission to dream of holding national office. Ten years from now, as I sit on the couch contemplating a felony charge in the house where I live with my eighty-year-old father, I will smile, confident in the knowledge that I can still win 100,000 votes in the state of South Carolina. This is a lot of votes! To put this in perspective, Gary Coleman only won 14,235 votes when he ran for Governor of California, and he was a national star.

For years, conventional wisdom has said things such as, "Maybe you should hire a campaign staff before running for office." But this just goes to show what conventional wisdom knows.

Up until now, I haven't been convinced by all the "yes we can!" rhetoric floating around. Sure, Obama overcame great obstacles to become the Democratic nominee for the presidency. But he had a Harvard law degree and years of experience as a professor and community organizer. The "yes we can!" of his election seemed only to apply to those with actual qualifications.

Alvin Greene has broken down the last barrier, a barrier some refer to as "being somewhat qualified to hold office." Now, with $114 in his campaign account, no job, unclear funding sources and "involuntary" discharges from the Army and Air Force, he is ready to take on the system.

To the naysayers who remark that Republican incumbent Jim DeMint will now surely win the general election, I say, "Baloney!" If, without any campaigning whatsoever, Alvin Greene can win 100,000 votes, defeating an actual elected official with years of experience, imagine what he can do in the general election after people know his name. As Greene so wisely said, "The people have spoken. The people of South Carolina have spoken. The people of South Carolina have spoken. We have to be pro-South Carolina. The people of South Carolina have spoken. We have to be pro-South Carolina."

Amen! Yes we can!

By Alexandra Petri  | June 11, 2010; 1:36 PM ET
Categories:  Petri  | Tags:  Alexandra Petri  
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Comments

I'm quite interested to see what develops as we learn more about this guy. I agree - I'm happy to see an everydayman can get elected in an age when conventional wisdom says that you need a law degree, millions in the bank and rock-solid connections.

That being said - there is something rotten in the state of South Carolina. Mr. Greene evades any questions about the filing fee, raising suspicions that something is not right here. Then there's that felony charge... but these days what does committing a felony matter? President Obama admitted to trying cocaine, after all, and he did just fine winning the election.

Posted by: Silvae | June 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Does not matter who got him in, 60% of democrats voted him in. Come on, people. If you listen to Obama without this teleprompter, this guy sounds about the same. If people do not agree, then they are being intellectually dishonest. Listen to the too of them. It is hilarious.

Posted by: Steve863 | June 11, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

From what I can tell, I don't think this guy actually won. Absentee votes were almost polar opposite from election day results. If this turns out to be election equipment errors, this story could be huge.

Posted by: micahb1 | June 11, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

please... come join me on facebook and let's get alvin his own hosting gig on saturday night live

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Getting-Alvin-Greene-to-Host-Saturday-Night-Live-SNL/124685274238231?v=wall

Posted by: dommyinla | June 11, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

He certainly is a candidate for the rest of us. It is the only good laugh I've had all week.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | June 11, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Please STOP saying that 60% of democrats voted for Mr. Greene.

Anyone, regardless of their voter registration in South Carolina could have voted for him.

Heck, even Diebold might have voted for him.

But don't pin it on democrats -- most of the support for Greene came from white communities.

Posted by: Ennealogic | June 11, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, this is nothing but a set up to create divisivenes. It's working until they find out the real deal.

For the numbskull who said who said Mr. Greene and the President sound alike is just as out of it as Mr. Greene.

Posted by: lamac66 | June 11, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"Listen to the too of them"?? Steve, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. You insult the president, AND you can't spell. That would be "two", not "too". You're hilarious.

Posted by: terp5 | June 11, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

This guy watched Hank Johnson (D-GA) talk about the island of Guam tipping over if too many people stood on it. That little demonstration of brain power and a few sound bites from Maxine Waters (D-CA) must have convinced this chumbalone that elected office was for him.

Posted by: jimbob3 | June 11, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Stings doesnt it.

Posted by: almorganiv | June 11, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

shouldn't this post be on the Onion's front page instead of the Washington Post op-ed's?

I sense a hint of sarcasm in the author's tone.

Posted by: adam23 | June 12, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Actually here's a candidate for the rest of us (in South Carolina)- Tom Clements. The best option for voters in South Carolina is to go with the Green Party candidate, Tom Clements. He is definitely on the ball and would shake up Washington with a message we need. If you're angry at Republicans and Democrats and tired of the situation in Washington and had it with the rigged 2-party system, it's time to break things open with more parties. There are only 3 candidates on the ballot - Clements, DeMinted & Greene & Clements will be at the top.

Check out Clements' facebook page & I see his website is under construction: clementsforsenate.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tom-Clements-for-US-Senate/128952760459672?v=app_2373072738#!/pages/Tom-Clements-for-US-Senate/128952760459672

Posted by: Frogamander | June 12, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

South Carolina has open primaries.

That means that 60% of Democrats did not vote for him as a candidate. It was 60% of S Carolina voters who voted for him. In South Carolina Republicans and Independents can vote in the Democratic primary.

Stupid, you betcha.

Posted by: zpope | June 12, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha! I love this tongue-in-cheek piece! Imagine the possibilities! What if a lot of young people with a sense of humor banded together, then rounded up enough other South Carolinians who are tired of the cynicism, and then voted in Mr. Greene? Think of it: Take down the Senate's most cynical Senator, good ol' boy Jim DeMint, and put in the totally innocent, entirely a-cynical Mr. Greene.

Mr. Greene goes to Washington! I love it. Movies will be made.

Posted by: cturtle1 | June 12, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

After Obama, the bar has been permanently lowered for the rest. Who gives a damn about qualifications.

Posted by: NoWeCant | June 12, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Alexandra, use your brain. No way an unfunded candidate could win this big, especially when his opponent had a 43 to 7 lead a month before. And with De Mint taking 50% in a 3-way vote, he was under serious threat by non-incumbent Rawl. So the Repubs had the motivation and the means... if you include tampering with electronic voting machines means...

Posted by: michele3d | June 12, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

And after a whole two years in the Senate, he'll be qualified enough to be president of the United States!

Is this a great country, or what?

Alvin Hussein Greene.

Yes. We. Can.

Posted by: egdusa | June 13, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

There is clear fraud here. There needs to be a Justice Department investigation and some enterprising reporter might could get a great story. This does not add up.

Posted by: withersb | June 13, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

John McCain and the republican party, and now the teabaggers will never understand, let alone admit, their cynicism in selecting Sarah Palin, the antithesis of everything any self sufficient woman has ever worked for.

The same hate, the same effort to trot out the worst possible example of female or black public official to guarantee failure is at work in Mr. Greene's candidacy.

It is not new to women or blacks who have been patronized by the bigots to discredit their causes since the beginning of time.

Posted by: dutchess2 | June 14, 2010 5:18 AM | Report abuse

Voter fraud. Hanging chads. Corporations deemed to be "citizens" for the purpose of influencing national elections. None of this is funny, yet the journalists just keep writing amusing stories about it every time it happens, and it happens with more and more frequency over the last 10 years. Election rigging is knee-slapping, good clean fun if it is done in the South and not too often,right?

Posted by: mawheelz | June 14, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

steve863 YOU are the idiot. You don't even know the difference between to, too, and two!

Posted by: sromig | June 14, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

My 12 year old son put it nicely:

"A congress of Alvin Greenes would be an improvement; they couldn't organize themselves to hurt and steal."

Posted by: happyacres | June 14, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

In case no one noticed, Republicans in SC had their hands full with hotly contested primary races for Governor and Treasurer as well as other county and state offices. It is laughable to suggest that Republican crossover played any part in this race. Democrats simply don't want to admit what happened. They elected one of their own and are belatedly embarrassed by their choice.

Posted by: charliemac1 | June 14, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

If Mr. Greene were to be elected to the senate I doubt that the senate would allow him to take his seat. He might show up some of the intellectual giants in residence there.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | June 14, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

This is not a laughing matter. Do you want this guy making long term decisions for you?

Posted by: boblee1 | June 14, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

sromig (and another equivalently) wrote: "steve863 YOU are the idiot. You don't even know the difference between to, too, and two!"
-----------------------------------------
So i guess since you all could only pick on this silly little typo you concur with his analysis on Alvin and the Barack Obama reference.

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | June 14, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Alvin Greene is a result of a liberal populace who simply lacked the wherewithall to select a qualified candidate qualified.

You know, kind of like what happened on November 4th, 2008 in the presidential election.

And isn't interesting how lefties condescendly declare that Sarah Palin is not fit to hold office, but then they sing and dance around an out of work dude facing a felony obscenity charge as he wins the democratic primary in SC.

What a riot November is going to be!

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | June 14, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

So Alvin is unemployed...

I guess this is what the liberals are thinking as a way to lower the unemployment rate... get the out of work folks to run for Congress.

Yes they can!!

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | June 14, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Not qualified? I think the only qualifications to be Senator are as follows:

"No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen."

That's it.

Posted by: BradG | June 14, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I sincerely hope this article was written tongue-in-cheek. And I sincerely hope that they find that the electronic voting that “elected” Mr. Green as the frontrunner was “fixed” – I simply don’t want those in N.C. to be found to be that ignorant. I saw the Olbermann interview – I wouldn’t vote for Mr. Green to do anything, much less vote him into office. Really. Over $10,000 of his own money used, but classified as indigent when it comes to assigning him a public defender? Nope – not gonna happen. And receiving OVER 100% of the vote? Does anyone want to buy a bridge? Would you even believe this man if you asked for directions to the nearest hotel? Mmm, I think not.

Posted by: julieforBarack | June 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Steve863 - are you kidding? Say, I've got a bridge to sell you!

Posted by: julieforBarack | June 14, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely hope this article was written tongue-in-cheek. And I sincerely hope that they find that the electronic voting that “elected” Mr. Green as the frontrunner was “fixed” – I simply don’t want those in N.C. to be found to be that ignorant. I saw the Olbermann interview – I wouldn’t vote for Mr. Green to do anything, much less vote him into office. Really. Over $10,000 of his own money used, but classified as indigent when it comes to assigning him a public defender? Nope – not gonna happen. And receiving OVER 100% of the vote? Does anyone want to buy a bridge? Would you even believe this man if you asked for directions to the nearest hotel? Mmm, I think not.

Posted by: julieforBarack | June 14, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Hi julieforBarack, Just commenting to let you know that this election took place in SC not NC as you posted. I wish it happened in NC and not my homestate of SC but...S*&! happens.

Posted by: dacama | June 14, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Vic Rawl cound't beat this guy?? The Establishment Vic Rawl with party money and support behind him did NOT campaign. He got a case of entitlement fever and did NOT campaign. Very few people ever heard of Vic Rawl and those who did, did not want to vote for him, so they voted for the unknown candidate Alvin Greene. Why didn't Vic Rawl campaign?(robocalls and emails do NOT count.) Why didn't Vic convince his constituents that HE was the better candidate? Now he has to answer to his donors and supporters. I love it!

Posted by: annmarie2 | June 15, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

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