Following Alvin Greene's surprising victory in South Carolina's Democratic Senate primary and subsequent controversy swirling around how he managed to win his party's nomination, the unlikely Senate contender is out with a message for his critics: "I am the best candidate for the United States Senate in South Carolina... And I am also the best person to be TIME magazine's Man of the Year."
In an interview Thursday, Greene told TIME himself that he should be the magazine's next honoree for the its annual issue paying tribute to the figure who "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."
Here's what Greene -- who had raised no funds and had no campaign website during the primary -- said to the magazine about his unlikely win:
Greene maintains that the answer is much simpler. "I am the best candidate for the United States Senate in South Carolina," he says, hitting his talking points, as he is apt to do. "And I am also the best person to be TIME magazine's Man of the Year." He is speaking now, between trips to the kitchen, in the living room, while his 81-year-old father, James, Sr., barefoot under a flannel blanket, dozes on the couch. Suddenly, the television flashes Greene's face, as a Fox News announcer teases an upcoming segment asking about the newbie's "mental state." This gets to Greene, who is tired of being treated by the press like a carnival act. "What about everyone else's mental state?" he asks, before breaking into a chuckle. "It seems like things don't apply to me. I'm the nominee, and 60 percent isn't 60 percent anymore."
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