Friday, July 23, 2010
My love-hate relationship with Alvin…
On Monday, the Manning Branch of the South Carolina NAACP sat anxiously as they waited for Democratic Senatorial candidate Alvin Greene to make his first public remarks. The organization invited Greene to speak so its members could get to know him better.
Meanwhile African Americans all over the country secretly prayed that he would not embarrass the race too badly. After his surprising, OK let’s face it, bizarre, primary win, Greene gave the first speech of his non-campaign. After doing several awkward, bumbling and downright strange interviewswith various media outlets, the South Carolina Democratic electorate now watched their miracle candidate nervously, hoping that, at the very least, all his subjects and verbs would agree.
So, how did he do in his first campaign appearance? Alvin Greene probably did better than most people thought he would. He didn’t make any major errors, didn’t use profanity and did not show pornography to the audience. He stayed on-topic (for the most part), focusing on his three major themes of jobs, education and justice. He talked about the fact that the country lost 125,000 jobs just last month.
Next, Greene hit the criminal justice system. This is when it got a little weird.
He tells some bizarre story about “a guy” who got tangled up in the criminal justice system – we all know that when someone talks about “a guy” or “friend” he or she is probably talking about him or herself.
Anyway, this “guy” got in trouble, and although he qualified for pre-trial intervention, he was denied and the trial was delayed.
You could almost hear the crowd’s collective “WTF?”
All in all, it wasn’t the utter and complete disaster we all have come to expect when Greene opens his mouth. He nervously read his notes from a black spiral notebook, wiped his brow and did his best to sound authoritative. Senatorial even.
He made a little quip in the beginning about being a perfect candidate for the NAACP Image Awards, although I have a sneaky suspicion that he didn’t write that joke and didn’t seem to know what it meant. Frankly, it didn’t sound like he wrote any of it.
It sounded like a bunch of policy positions that had been cut and pasted from different websites the night before. Unfortunately, the only part that sounded genuine was that creepy part about his “friend.” The 6 – 12 minute elocutionary extravaganza ended with Greene timidly waving, looking unsure of what he was supposed to do next.
I know you’re not supposed to say this anymore, but what the hell, he looked kind of retarded. Ok, maybe not full-retard, but like whatever Forrest Gump had.
He cracked a child-like smile as he got a standing ovation before an audience of more than 400 in his hometown of Manning. Greene took no questions from the audience and hustled past a group of reporters on his way out of the building without stopping to talk.
Another onlooker, Jerry Johnson, said Greene looked much better giving his speech than he has in interviews. “I wasn’t blown away, but he didn’t do bad,” Johnson said. “Considering I didn’t know anything about him coming in, that’s not so bad.”
OK, if no one else is going to say it, I will:
He was absolutely terrible. Did the fact that he wasn’t as bad as we thought he was going be, make him less terrible? No. It was violently bad. Face it, it was awful and horrible and stinky. I will admit, though, I’m conflicted. On one hand, I want to support this brother who is a legitimate candidate (like it or not) in following his dream of becoming a senator.
Or, to many South Carolinians, is a thumb in the eye of Jim de Mint worth lowering the bar of expectations? I just don’t know. This dude is embarrassingly bad and I don’t know what we accomplish by not holding him to the standards all our leaders should be held to, like forming a cohesive thought without having to read it, but on the other hand, the Republicans have Sarah Palin….