South Carolina congressman James Clyburn is so suspicious of the ever-mysterious candidacy of Alvin Greene that he wants the Justice Department to investigate whether he was a plant of some kind, as has been speculated over the past couple of days. "There were some real shenanigans going on in the South Carolina primary," Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House said today. "I don't know if he was a Republican plant; he was someone's plant." For one thing, there's the question of how Greene, who has been unemployed for nine months, got the $10,440 to register his "campaign." "Somebody gave him that $10,000," says Clyburn, "and he who took it should be investigated, and he who gave it should be investigated."
Clyburn's concerns notwithstanding, Greene would seem like an odd plant, if he was one. Normally a plant would serve to siphon votes from another candidate in the race. But how useful is a plant who, as in Greene's case, is entirely unknown and does literally nothing to attract votes? In a best-case scenario, you could expect him to capture a small percentage of votes and leave the results of the election unchanged. (Of course, as it turned out, he actually won, but nobody has any idea how that happened.) And how necessary would it have been, for Republicans at least, to plant a candidate in a race that incumbent senator Jim DeMint was never in danger of losing to begin with?
No matter what the truth is, we're glad Greene ran, and won, if only for the intriguing mystery of it all, which only deepens with every interview he grants, like this one with The Root:
TR: How do you think you beat your opponent, Vic Rawl, who raised nearly $200,000?
AG: I didn't know he had that much. What did he spend it on?
TR: I'd imagine a Web site, a staff, signage, things most political campaigns have.
TR: How, then, did you beat someone who had more than 10 times the money you had?
AG: What was that amount again that he spent? A hundred bucks?
TR: No. He raised $186,000.
AG: A hundred eighty-six thousand? That's kind of amazing.
Update: If Greene had a campaign manager, he'd probably tell the candidate to stop doing interviews for now, because they are all so terrible. Here he is speaking to two local TV stations, and with interview with Fox News this afternoon. Meanwhile, state representative Todd Rutherford, who met with Greene today, suspects that he might be mentally impaired, and suggests he get evaluated. "I feel like he is being exploited, like there is a joke going and he doesn't get it," Rutherford said. "It is troublesome at best. I think his mental capacity may prohibit him from getting the joke."