OK, it wasn’t such a surprise when NPR wanted to talk with me about SC politics. But this request took me aback a bit:
This is Dan Pashman, I produce Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer on the Martha Stewart channel on Sirius. It’s a general interest talk show, and we’d like to invite you on to talk about Alvin Greene. I’m sure you’re very familiar with his story, but the intrigue surrounding it is just starting to break through on the national level, and we’d love to get the local perspective. How did he win the primary? Is this some kind of joke? Is he really as unlikely a candidate as it seems? What are folks in the state saying about him? And are you sure this isn’t some kind of joke? We’d like to do this today at 6 pm eastern, you could do it from a land line phone and it would take about 15 minutes. The show is lighthearted and fun, we do some politics and the hosts are curious about Greene, but it’s definitely not wonky. The hosts also talk a lot about dating and celebrities, etc, so we cover a lot of ground and this interview can definitely have a fun element to it. Please let me know if you’re available.
Anyway, I’ll be on tomorrow (we moved it back a day) at 6, if you can listen. I can’t not having satellite radio.
By the way, Dan wrote me later to ask if I could answer his questions above so that he could prep the stars of the show. Here’s how I replied:
How did he win the primary?No one knows. These were all factors in what happened, though:— No one was paying attention to that race because whoever it was was expected to be a sacrificial lamb and lose to DeMint in the fall.— The candidate expected to win, Vic Rawl, didn’t campaign all that much. He thought he had it in the bag. And indeed, if you had asked me who was going to win that, I would have said, “Vic Rawl.” Not that I cared. I assumed that Vic Rawl would be the guy to lose to DeMint in the fall, that that was that. (I’ll tell you, I did not vote on that race. I saw Rawl’s name there, and recognized it, but decided I didn’t know enough about him to vote for him — of course, I’m used to knowing more about candidates than most people, and in this case, I hadn’t even met the guy.)— Alvin Greene’s name came first on the ballot. Never underestimate the power of that in the absence of name recognition.— “Greene” is considered to be a “black” spelling of the name. So it’s assumed that lots of black voters, not knowing either of these guys, chose him because he sounded like the black guy.— Bottom line, his winning makes all the sense in the world to Alvin — he ran, right? so why wouldn’t people have voted for him? — and totally blows the minds of everybody else.Is this some kind of joke?Not to Alvin Greene. He’s serious as a crutch.Is he really as unlikely a candidate as it seems?Yes.What are folks in the state saying about him?Democrats are saying as little as possible. Republicans are saying “Greene-Sheheen,” loudly and often. Vincent Sheheen is the Democratic nominee for governor.And are you sure this isn’t some kind of joke?Yep. To folks outside the state, and to Republicans inside it, it IS a joke. But not to other South Carolinians. We’ve had enough embarrassment.