Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010

     Remember Alvin Greene, the man nobody'd ever heard of, who won the Democratic Senate nomination in South Carolina without ever campaigning, spending a nickel,  running an ad or seeking a vote?  He won, most figured, because the ballot listed the candidates alphabetically and he was first.  Well, he's done it now.  He's made a speech.
     As reported in Politics Daily he did it in his hometown, Manning.  More than 300  attended.  Greene, the report said, "was a man of few words and many pauses and seemed nervous in front of the crowd and television cameras."  Fair enough;  it's not easy, especially first time out.
    Themes?  He's "about getting South Carolina and America back to work."  He said that, the report notes, three times.  Fair enough again.  I don't remember how many times George McGovern said "Come home, America!" when he ran for president in 1972, but three per speech wouldn't surprise me.  All politicians have standard speeches and sometimes repeat themselves. 
    We like to think we're a country where civilians can serve in high office, but we're mostly not.  Jimmy Stewart's "Mr. Smith" goes to Washington as a senator, sure, but that was a movie.  In real life it's mostly an old pros' game:  governors run for president (Dewey, Reagan, Clinton, Carter, Bush) as do senators (all three Kennedys, Obama, McCain, Nixon).  Political virgins rarely make it.  It just doesn't work that way.
       Everybody has to start somewhere.  It's just usually not from complete obscurity.  Still, good luck, Mr. Greene.  We'll see how it goes.

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