It becomes clear fairly early in our conversation that Greene is not the greatest orator. He is not in the mould, say, of one of his heroes, Barack Obama. When I ask him whether Obama, as a fellow African-American, had been an inspiration behind his own decision to enter politics, he says, "Yes, I mean there's something that, you know, I knew so I just knew that. It was in my mind, I knew that, that, that, that the voters really, they really, that they really, erm, followed the candidate. That they really wanted substance in a candidate . . . "Here's what I'm thinking. You know how Arnold Schwarzeneggar got elected? He was the most entertaining of all the candidates. When people are really cynical about politics they tend to make decisions like this. Which means that whether Alvin Greene is on the level or some kind of covert Republican mole to make Democrats look bad, Jim DeMint may have to apply for unemployment come November. Ironic, would it not be?
It is clear, too, in the course of the two hours I spend with Greene that he has some pretty wacky ideas that, were he to win in November, would put him among the more unpredictable members of the senate. At one point, he lurches off on his big idea for how to create jobs in South Carolina.
"Another thing we can do for jobs is make toys of me, especially for the holidays. Little dolls. Me. Like maybe little action dolls. Me in an army uniform, air force uniform, and me in my suit. They can make toys of me and my vehicle, especially for the holidays and Christmas for the kids. That's something that would create jobs. So you see I think out of the box like that. It's not something a typical person would bring up. That's something that could happen, that makes sense. It's not a joke."