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The Accidental Candidate: The Rise and Fall of Alvin Greene Paperback – May 31, 2012
Top Customer Reviews
Greene had no money, no political support, no campaign organization, no political friends, no career, and was facing criminal charges. So on paper, not really legitimate; yet he won by about a 100K to 60K vote margin.
If you read the story from old newspaper clips, it's difficult to find it anything but weird. Most of the coverage (which the book claims was the most afforded any campaign) focued on inside-baseball accounts of political machinations, with not much on the candidate himself. Granted, he was a strange man who didn't give 'normal' interviews.
There were allegations that Greene's out-of-nowhere primary victory was the result of dirty tricks or voting machine irregularities, or simply massive voter apathy to the point where nobody cared who they were voting for or why.
The graphic novel format presents this sobering story in a more accessible and humanizing way then newspaper stories, especially the beleagured Greene's life and biography.
The book does not speculate about Greene's political motivations, beyond what's in the public record. It presents his visit to the SC Democratic Party offices where he presents a personal check (with money saved from the Army) to file to run for office. Party officials don't know what to make of him.
Just like with Greene, the graphic novel presents all these nameless players in a more human way. Blue Delliquanti's artisitic representations recreate everyone with a visual panache.Read more ›
At first blush, that seems like all there was to the Alvin Greene story -- just another momentary blurb for the Daily Show, someone in South Carolina doing yet another thing for John Stewart to crack wise about. There's really a lot more to the story, though; as Axe and Hutchins tell Greene's tale, layering on the details, laying out the historical background, the book becomes more about the sorry state of South Carolina politics generally, the history of racial skulduggery, and the questions of corruption that have never been quite answered or settled.
All in all, this ends up being one of the best encapsulations I've ever seen of everything wrong with South Carolina politics. It's incredibly interesting, comic, and, well, if you have to live here, more than a little sad, both for Mr. Greene and for the rest of us as well.
If you want a little more insight into why and how South Carolina's politics don't work, read this book. It's more than just a funny book with pictures.
All of us together did our part to make South Carolina a slightly more embarrassing place to live -- a real achievement in 2010, as it followed a series of scandals involving Mark Sanford, Nikki Haley and a horse belonging to a Conway woman.
So, how did we end up with Alvin Greene?
That's the story Free Times reporter Corey Hutchins and former Free Times reporter David Axe (War is Boring) tell in this excellent recap, which ably uses the graphic novel format, illustrated by Blue Delliquanti, to provide a bigger picture as to just what happened and why.
As a reporter covering state politics, Hutchins was uniquely positioned to follow this story when it looked as if a more conventional narrative was shaping up. Jim DeMint -- hardcore Upstate conservative and nationally recognized tea party demagogue -- was so flush with money he didn't even need to campaign. Vic Rawl -- an unknown, earnest Charleston County councilman and four-time-elected state Democratic representative -- was ready and willing to tear into DeMint.
Enter Alvin Greene, the embarrassment no one saw coming, who simply by being on the ballot defeated Rawl for reasons no one has ever been able to fully explain. Was Greene's candidacy, as Congressman Jim Clyburn suggested, a Republican put-up job -- smacking of a similar event in 1990, when Republican operative Rod Shealy paid an unemployed black fisherman to run as a Democrat? Still something of a question, considering this is one of those political jokes that seemed timed to go off right after it was too late to do anything about it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author of this book is a hypocritical hack. I'm shocked that this little twit's musings are still in print.Published 20 months ago by Rebecca Shea
I enjoyed reading this, but the art is mediocre and the story is just infuriating. I suppose it is not for everyone.Published on December 29, 2012 by L. Kabel
Once past the book's hyper-political forward from the democratic primary challenger's campaign aide and advisor, the Accidental Candidate is an interesting read that illuminates... Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by David Peeler