Alvin Greene, formerly the Democratic nominee to be the next senator from South Carolina, predicted this week that he would be the next president of the United States. He seemed undeterred by either his loss in the general election or by the fact that when he made this prediction he was about to walk into a courtroom to enter a plea on obscenity charges.
Greene said on November 10 that he was "seriously considering" running in 2012, and a local Democratic Party official confirmed that someone had called to ask about the filing fee. A week later, Greene said at the Richland County Courthouse that he was indeed planning to run. If that counts as a formal announcement, he might be the first candidate to do this just before going into a plea hearing.
Greene was indicted earlier this year after a student at the University of South Carolina said he approached her in a dorm computer room, showed her some dirty pictures, and suggested they go to her room. (This is creepy but I think is especially shocking only because it didn't happen at a fraternity.) He was charged with violating a state law that makes it a felony to "knowingly disseminate obscenity," which might or might not be constitutional as applied but is virtually never enforced.
To put this in some context, the same chapter criminalizes "fornication," hilariously defined as "the living together and carnal intercourse with each other or habitual carnal intercourse without living together of a man and woman, both being unmarried." (Apparently if you don't live together, it's not fornication unless it gets to be a habit.) Further, woe betide those who would pursue, in the process of said Intercourse, ye abominable crime of Buggery:
Whoever shall commit the abominable crime of buggery, whether with mankind or with beast, shall, on conviction, be guilty of felony and shall be imprisoned in the Penitentary for five years or shall pay a fine of not less than five hundred dollars, or both, at the discretion of the court.
S.C. Code 16-15-120. And what better way to deter buggery than a prison sentence?
Anyway, to get back to Alvin, whether or not he should go to jail for this it does not look too good on a resume. But, again, he was not deterred, as he made entirely clear. "I'm the next president," he told a reporter. "I'll be 35 ... just before November, so I was born to be president. I'm the man. I'm the man. I'm the man. Greene's the man. I'm the man. I'm the greatest person ever. I was born to be president. I'm the man, I'm the greatest individual ever."
The greatest person ever pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial, which a prosecutor said would take place early next year.