That U.S. Senate primary-election result in South Carolina continues to be Page One news in The Washington Post.
On Friday, June 11, the Post headline was one of modern journalism’s most noted understatements:
“Senate nominee in S.C. is a mystery man.”
It is, understandably, mysterious.
I mean, how on earth could Alvin M. Greene attract more than 100,000 votes, which won him the Democratic nomination? So, surely the term “mystery man” is to wallow in understatement.
The Associated Press reported that Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Greene is currently facing felony obscenity charges.
Allegedly, he attempted to display pornography to a University of South Carolina female student last November.
Think about that!
Before this very serious charge has even been resolved, more than 100,000 South Carolinians voted to nominate him to the U.S. Senate!
In addition to this felony charge, Senate candidate Greene:
- During his campaign for the Senate, never, ever gave a speech.
- He opened no website.
- He never hired a consultant.
- He never planted any lawn campaign signs.
- In his campaign bank account was a grant total of $114.
- The only check he has ever written was to cover his filing fee.
- He is unemployed.
When the Post spent three hours interviewing this utterly astounding primary winner, he made the following statements:
“I’m the Democratic Party nominee. 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.”
This, dare I say it, PHENOMENAL candidate, who won an unbelievable victory, has not won the backing of South Carolina’s Democratic state chairman – who asked winner Greene to withdraw from the general election.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina has even publicly pondered the hair-raising idea that possibly Greene was planted in this race – by Guess Who?
Of course! By those wicked Republicans!
Greene, however, has announced that he is “nobody’s pawn.” And he shows no sign of obeying Democrats in high places who are calling on him to quit. Instead, he has challenged Republican U.S. Sen. James DeMint to a September debate, “on a major network.”
The Washington Post also reported:
- “Greene, a solidly built 32-year-old with a close-shaved head, sighs heavily as he speaks, pausing often during meandering monologues. Wearing a green T-shirt from a 1993 family reunion, he taps his fingers, alternating between staring at the floor and covering his face with both hands.
- “Carol Fowler, the state’s Democratic Party chairman, tried to talk him out of running, saying he wouldn’t be able to afford the staff required.
- “Before Election Day, he says, almost no one paid attention to him. Now he’s swamped. Phone calls repeatedly interrupt the conversation – reporters, television producers, fans. Greene rises to take each call, responding politely, if at times impatiently.
- “In a telephone interview from her Charleston home, Greene’s accuser – Camille McCoy, 19 – says she didn’t know that Greene was running. ‘I really wished I’d known before the election, so I could have said something so people would have known who they were voting for.’
“She says Greene asked her to look at pornography on his screen at a computer lab in a University of South Carolina dormitory and suggested, ‘Let’s go to your room.’
“Now her mother, Susan McCoy, wants Greene to withdraw from the race. And one other thing: ‘We want this guy to crawl back under the rock he came from.’”
Nearly one week later, on June 17, the top-of-Page-One of The Washington Post had the headline:
“Puzzle in the Palmetto State.”
A week later, and Greene’s Senate nomination still mystifies many.
This latest Post Page-One story reported, among other things:
“Greene, a 32-year-old military veteran, is black in a state that has not elected an African-American to statewide office in modern times. He was all but invisible to voters during the primary. In interviews since, he has appeared confused and unaware of basic facts about his candidacy, yet 103,362 South Carolinians cast their ballot for him.
“Some voters are now confused, others angry about how it happened. Greene won almost 60 percent of the vote, and though few give him even a remote chance against Republican Sen. DeMint this fall, his victory has caused alarm and embarrassment. Many black voters blame the Democratic Party for not vetting Greene.”
Since The Washington Post – as well as numerous photographs – reveal that Green is black, the question inevitably is: Will this black nominee be supported by our nation’s first black president?
At the White House press briefing on Thursday, June 17, I was the only reporter who asked about this Democratic nominee for a South Carolina U.S. Senate seat.
I asked press secretary Robert Gibbs:
- Q: The Washington Post reports that South Carolina’s one-time chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Donald Fowler, thinks that the state’s U.S. Senate Democrat nominee Alvin Greene is a Republican plant, even though he got 100,000 votes. How does the president react to this and will he support nominee Greene?
GIBBS: I think the South Carolina party is rightly looking into the circumstances of that nomination.
Q: But you’re not going to tell us what the president is going to do – or are you?
GIBBS: Well, I don’t know that the South Carolina Democratic Party has settled on him as a nominee.
Q: Do you think they can reject it?
But there was no response as the briefing was ended.