Political observers will attest that the majority of campaign ads are banal rehashings of tempered stump speeches. But we were greeted this week with a pleasant--and yet remotely disturbing--break from that pattern, with the video "Greene is on the scene," a parody of South Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene's campaign missteps set to a retro hip-hop tune.
The New York Times reported Thursday the video was, to the surprise of its nearly-18,000 viewers, an official product of the Greene campaign. That report also came as a surprise to the Greene campaign, according to CNN, who said it had no involvement in the video.
"I don't know who made it." But, the candidate said Friday morning, "it sounds good. Make sure everybody hears it."
Notable lyrics include: "Well, Greene's a new face in politics. And he don't show porno to college chicks. … Real family values, those are rad. He loves family and lives with his mom and dad! … Alvin Greene is the one for you. He knows how you feel, 'cause he's unemployed, too!"
As much as the wrongful attribution of the parody to the Greene campaign is an indictment of lazy reporting, it is also a testament to the spectacle that is Alvin Greene.
As a professional political consultant, I would hope no candidate would attest to their unemployed status, voluntarily acknowledge they live with their parents, or make a vague reference to felony charges related to pornography in an official campaign production. Of course, I would also hope that no black candidate would show obscene material to a white female college student not-yet twenty in a state with a history of racial tensions, unveil a jobs plan whose central plank was the production of candidate-resembling action figures, or film the campaign's inaugural interview from a messy den wearing socks and a ratted family reunion t-shirt.
But Alvin Greene managed to do all those things. And more.