I know the talking heads will spend much time breaking down Super Tuesday’s primary results. Yep, we’re gonna hear all about Blanch Lincoln’s miraculous against-all-odds win in her Arkansas primary challenge. However, I wanted to take a moment to highlight a brother they will not be talking about; a brother who dared to defy the odds of running a successful campaign while unemployed.
His name is Alvin Greene, and is a virtually unknown in South Carolina, let alone in politic. He has accomplished something never heard of in an age where success is borne out of heavy campaign financing. In an age where in 2008, the average winning representative spent $8 million to sit in a House seat:
An unemployed 32-year-old black Army veteran with no campaign funds, no signs, and no website shocked South Carolina on Tuesday night by winning the Democratic Senate primary to oppose Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). Alvin Greene, who currently lives in his family’s home, defeated Vic Rawl, a former judge and state legislator who had a $186,000 campaign warchest and had already planned his next fundraising event.
Despite the odds, Greene, who has been unemployed for the past nine months, said that he wasn’t surprised by his victory. “I wasn’t surprised, but not really. I mean, just a little, but not much. I knew I was on top of my campaign, and just stayed on top of everything, I just—I wasn’t surprised that much, just a little. I knew that I worked hard and did,” Greene said in an interview.
Greene insists that he paid the $10,400 filing fee and all other campaign expenses from his own personal funds. “It was 100 percent out of my pocket. I’m self-managed. It’s hard work, and just getting my message to supporters. I funded my campaign 100 percent out of my pocket and self-managed,” said Greene, who sounded anxious and unprepared to speak to the public.
But despite his lack of election funds, Greene claims to have criss-crossed the state during his campaign—though he declined to specify any of the towns or places he visited or say how much money he spent while on the road. Now of course, as to be expected there is local media speculation as to whether he’s a Republican plant. Sure, because there’s no way a black man can pull something like this off. Yep, not in political circles dominated by the chitlin rubbed armpits of South Carolina’s Republican elite.
Hell, even South Carolina’s Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler even speculated that Greene won because his name appeared first on the ballot, and voters unfamiliar with both candidates chose alphabetically. She has already proclaimed him to be a weaker candidate in November than his Fellow Democratic challenger would have been.
A 13-year military veteran, he says he had originally gotten the idea in 2008 when he was serving in Korea. “I just saw the country was in bad shape two years ago…the country was declining,” he says. “I wanted to make sure we continue to go up on the right track.” But when asked whether there was a specific person or circumstance that precipitated his decision to jump into politics, Greene simply replied: “nothing in particular…it’s just, uh, nothing in particular.” Ain’t that a bitch?
The brother can’t even get any props from his own party!
At any rate, the Democratic Party should get to know this guy, and get to know him quickly. In the eyes of Republican higher-ups, his candidacy is not seen as a challenge. But, if only for political expediency the Democrats take advantage of his “feel good story” and use it to their advantage.
His employment status coupled with his dedication to service and change, in my opinion, should not be slept on. At a time where Black unemployment is soaring, this is just the “good news” story the common everyday man needs right about now.
Hopefully with the full support of the Democratic Party elites, in and outside of South Carolina, Alvin Greene’s political career is able to take off. I’m hoping that his campaign is able to catch everyone off-guard as it already has come November. Besides, it would be kinda nice to have a black face in the Senate; a face that for once represents the people and not the interests of special interest groups – you know, the way it actually should be.