Say what you will about Alvin Greene, the mercurial, bizarre, out-of-nowhere Democratic Senate candidate in South Carolina whose election seems possibly fraudulent and whose chances against GOP Sen. Jim DeMint are basically non-existent.
He has not, like other Senate candidates running this year, suffered from a propensity to exaggerate when it comes to discussing his military record. If anything, he's downplayed his achievements. From Friday's Washington Post profile of Greene comes this nugget:
The University of South Carolina confirms that Greene graduated in 2000 with a degree in political science. The Pentagon confirms that he served in the Army, and in the Army and Air Force national guards. Although Greene has not boasted of winning awards, the Pentagon says he was granted the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Korean Defense Service Medal.
This puts Greene in a class of humbleness all by himself. Whereas, Connecticut Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal admitted and apologized for misleading about his service in Vietnam and Illinois Senate candidate Mark Kirk copped to misrepresenting the awards he earned and the theaters in which he served, Greene hasn't made any mention of his legitimately-earned prizes.
This may be because Greene hasn't done any campaigning at all -- which has made his primary win on Tuesday utterly peculiar and spurred calls (from Rep. James Clyburn among others, for an investigation into its circumstances). And so, it stands to reason that military service will play absolutely no role in his near-impossible campaign against DeMint.
The same is not true in the Connecticut and Illinois elections where Blumenthal seems to have survived his gaffes while the jury is still out as to what damage has been done to Kirk. Asked by the Huffington Post on Thursday whether the issue of exaggerations and fabrications were off the table because members of both parties had been caught, Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) insisted that Kirk had committed the bigger crime:
Dick Blumenthal put the record straight and took responsibility. But there is a fundamental difference between, a quarter century of service and a consistent commitment to veterans, a crusading attorney general, someone who has pretty significant stability in his positions, to Mark Kirk. Mark Kirk -- set aside all of his distortions, various, various different distortions about his military record - he has flip-flopped on critical issues from what he took as a "moderate" Republican congressman from Illinois to his primary process moving to the general election, which has moved him far to the right."
And so, here is a candidate who sticks his finger in the wind and is willing to do anything to win, and also is obviously willing to embellish his record in a whole host of different ways... versus Blumenthal who has been consistent in his positions in fighting for consumers, in working to protect taxpayers and in supporting veterans who stood with him at the end of the day. We are not disabled at all in pointing out Mark Kirk's constant flip-flops and inconsistencies.