Alvin Greene Declares Self Time's Man of the Year

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It's difficult to overstate how badly Alvin Greene, an unemployed accused felon who shocked the nation by winning South Carolina's Democratic senate nomination, is doing at running for office. Pundits, appalled that anyone would vote for Greene, are grasping at straws, sometimes unconvincingly, for explanations. When your political campaign is so bad that it leads observers to wonder if you were planted by the opposition, you know it's time for a new media strategy. Greene has decided that being declared Time magazine's Person of the Year is just what his candidacy needs. But how to win the coveted prize? Greene, interviewing with Time's Michael Scherer, decided to simply assert that he deserved it. Scherer recounts:

As recently as Memorial Day, Alvin Greene was an unemployed 32-year-old, 13-year military veteran, who had been involuntarily discharged from both the Army and the Air Force and was facing an obscenity charge for allegedly showing an 18-year-old stranger online pornography in a college campus computer lab (Greene has denied comment, but he is fighting the charge). What he became after winning 59% of the vote in the June 8 Democratic primary is now in dispute. To Rep. Jim Clyburn, the state's most powerful Democrat, Greene is a pod-person of unknown origin — "someone's plant." To his older brother, James Jr., Greene is nothing more than a loner with a dream of making good — "like someone coming up saying I'm going to fly to the moon." To Vic Rawl, his well-funded opponent, Greene is the possible beneficiary of an historic voter machine malfunction or, worse, a stolen election.

Greene maintains that the answer is much simpler. "I am the best candidate for the United States Senate in South Carolina," he says, hitting his talking points, as he is apt to do. "And I am also the best person to be TIME magazine's Man of the Year." He is speaking now, between trips to the kitchen, in the living room, while his 81-year-old father, James, Sr., barefoot under a flannel blanket, dozes on the couch. Suddenly, the television flashes Greene's face, as a Fox News announcer teases an upcoming segment asking about the newbie's "mental state." This gets to Greene, who is tired of being treated by the press like a carnival act. "What about everyone else's mental state?" he asks, before breaking into a chuckle. "It seems like things don't apply to me. I'm the nominee, and 60 percent isn't 60 percent anymore."

Time does not select their winner for 2010 until December. In the meantime, the Atlantic Wire is happy to give Greene the benefit of the doubt. It could be useful campaign material.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.