The Odd, Odd Case Of Alvin Greene Gets Even More Odd

Alvin Greene is running a political campaign, but it's unlike anything anyone has ever seen before.

When we last left Alvin Greene, he had survived an attempt by South Carolina Democrats to remove him from the ballot, since then his campaign, such as it is, has taken a very odd turn. For one thing, he’s apparently figured out that talking to the press may not be the best thing to do:

After dozens of interviews, the candidate has begun to shun reporters, wearily asking what the story is going to be about and sometimes refusing to talk.

Two weeks ago, Greene asked the same AP reporter he’d welcomed into his home to leave, saying he was “a busy man” and repeating “Go! Go! Go! Go!” while avoiding eye contact. A phone call to arrange an interview later that day was met with a gruff request to return a week later at 1:30. When the appointment arrived, Greene wasn’t there. Greene answered another request for a long interview Monday by telling the reporter to call back in a couple of weeks.

He did, however, given an extended interview to London’s Guardian, where he unveiled his plan to revive South Carolina’s economy:

It becomes clear fairly early in our conversation that Greene is not the greatest orator. He is not in the mould, say, of one of his heroes, Barack Obama. When I ask him whether Obama, as a fellow African-American, had been an inspiration behind his own decision to enter politics, he says, “Yes, I mean there’s something that, you know, I knew so I just knew that. It was in my mind, I knew that, that, that, that the voters really, they really, that they really, erm, followed the candidate. That they really wanted substance in a candidate . . . ”

It is clear, too, in the course of the two hours I spend with Greene that he has some pretty wacky ideas that, were he to win in November, would put him among the more unpredictable members of the senate. At one point, he lurches off on his big idea for how to create jobs in South Carolina.

“Another thing we can do for jobs is make toys of me, especially for the holidays. Little dolls. Me. Like maybe little action dolls. Me in an army uniform, air force uniform, and me in my suit. They can make toys of me and my vehicle, especially for the holidays and Christmas for the kids. That’s something that would create jobs. So you see I think out of the box like that. It’s not something a typical person would bring up. That’s something that could happen, that makes sense. It’s not a joke.”

You heard it here first kids. The Alvin Green action figure. Better get your letters out to Santa now before supply runs out !

Since the primary, I’ve vacillated between the idea that Alvin Greene is pulling off some kind of enormous practical joke and the idea that he’s just, well, totally nuts. After reading that Guardian interview, I’m as confused as ever.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. JKB says:

    The sad part is, I can almost hear Obama and Pelosi making the same argument for how to create jobs. Of course, like the solar jobs, these jobs would be in China.

  2. Mithras says:

    It sounds to me that Mr. Greene has the same level of mental acuity as any politician but suffers from a lack of handlers and advisors to make him more presentable.

  3. floyd says:

    Obama, as a fellow African-American….

    Obama truly is an ” African-American”…. The black people I know are just plain “Americans”, like me.

  4. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’m going with totally nuts. And yet he would still be a better Senator than Jim DeMint.

  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    I assume you don’t know any Italian-Americans. Or Irish-Americans. No Americans who refer to themselves as Scotch-Irish. No Mexican-Americans.

    My daughter is Chinese-American. Born in China, and an American citizen.


  6. Michael,

    Wouldn’t the correct way to address him be Jackass-American ? 😉

  7. anjin-san says:

    Tell ya what Floyd, let’s hook up, I will take you to east Oakland, and you can explain to the guys there how Obama is an African. I know you can handle it because you apparently know a lot of black folks.

  8. Michael Reynolds says:


    Yeah, but are we sure that “Jackass-Americans” are a minority?

  9. floyd says:

    As always….. You assume.

    Can I drive? you’re already lost!
    Perhaps you would like to borrow Micheal’s proffered epithet, it would look good on you![lol]
    Your racist innuendo is revealing.

  10. Herb says:

    Strange there’s been no word about those “pending felony charges.” You’d think prosecutors would move on that if they had something.

  11. Neil Hudelson says:

    You know what I find striking? The looniest Republican in the national spotlight–Palin–is lauded by right-wingers. The looniest Democrat in the national spotlight–Greene–is shunned by the left (and everyone).

    I think that says something about the far right.

  12. John P. (Tupelo) says:

    The comments section on this article is seriously running my Alvin Greene buzz. This is the funniest thing I’ve read in weeks. I would buy an Alvin Greene doll.

  13. Dantheman says:


    Sorry, but the half-term Governor is simply not the looniest Republican in the national spotlight — not when Michelle Bachmann, Sharon Angle, Rand Paul, Steve King and Jim Inhofe are around. It doesn’t change your point, though.

  14. An Interested Party says:

    “The sad part is, I can almost hear Obama and Pelosi making the same argument for how to create jobs.”

    Well of course you can, considering how you feel about them…I’m sure it is quite easy for partisans to equate Greene with the president and the Speaker…

    Floyd, so as not to assume anything…surely you know people other than blacks who use the hyphenated form to describe themselves? Does that also bother you?

  15. ksjfolj says:

    Really Dantheman and Neil? It’s only a demonstration of the lack of political introspection you have that you wouldn’t include Alan Grayson, Keith Olbermann, Al Franken, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Biden, Klobuchar (do you like twilight Ms. Kagan?) or the the representative from Guam tipping over as the nutballs on the other side. Just the other day, Bill Clinton claimed a longstanding democrat senator who was a recruiter for the KKK and even in the past decade or so was still using racist terms and throwing the N word around only did it because he needed to be elected (and surely that should abstain him from criticism, because we know his soul is pure!). The fact is that both sides have embarassing idiots. The fact that you can’t recognize that shows the appalling arrogance and obliviousness that you possess.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    Speaking of Byrd and comparisons…Byrd did denounce his racist past…meanwhile, that other famous former Dixiecrat, Strom Thurmond, in addition to becoming a Republican, did not…fancy that…and while it may be embarrassing and even idiotic to ask a Supreme Court nominee about a ridiculous vampire/werewolf story, it is far worse to trash a Civil Rights Legend…

  17. floyd says:

    You sound as if you were sincere for once so I will attempt to answer ,with the proviso that you try not to ubfuscate.
    The answer is to some degree, yes….. if you are not an American born elsewhere , you probably should honor ” E Pluribus Unum” and just be an American.
    It’s not a big issue with me, except when people demand that I apply a hyphen to myself.

    You know full well that I was making the “kenyan konnection” only to get a rise out of those whose hyperbole is so easily encited.
    BTW; there are of course plenty of “African-Americans” who are not at all black.

  18. An Interested Party says:

    “You know full well that I was making the ‘kenyan konnection’ only to get a rise out of those whose hyperbole is so easily encited.”

    Actually, from what I have seen, most of the people who get a rise out of the “kenyan konnection” are those who actually believe it…most other people are able to laugh it off for the ridiculous theory that it is…or at least laugh at the people who believe it…

  19. Dantheman says:


    Please give some examples of Grayson, Franken, Wasserman-Schultz, et al.’s nuttiness. Especially things they have said or done while in office or running for office which rise to the level of Greene’s.

  20. floyd says:

    So …Is it that you and I have seen different things, or are you saying that many B.O. supporters believe the “kenyan konnection”?[lol]

  21. An Interested Party says:

    I had some comments yesterday that are “awaiting moderation”…will they be released or do I need to revise what I wrote?

  22. Looks like it was caught because it had some links in it. I went ahead and approved it.

  23. An Interested Party says:

    Thank you…