Jimmy McMillan, the long-shot candidate for governor of New York, in addition to being the “baddest” candidate in the race with an awesome set of friendly mutton chops and goatee, has a mission, and that is to lower rents in New York. McMillan’s stated debate tactics, according to his interview with New York Magazine, are to drop Obama’s name often for failed policies, bring every debate question back to high rent prices, and scare his opponents with his “badness.”
If I was in New York, and faced with the blandness of Cuomo and seeming insanity of Paladino, I’d welcome the chance of voting for Jimmy McMillan.
McMillan’s fringe candidacy is akin to Alvin Greene’s long shot run at the United States Senate seat for South Carolina, currently held by Senator Jim DeMint. Greene, an unknown person who registered to run in the South Carolina primaries, never campaigned before the primary election. Despite having made no public appearances, he went on to win the primary. However, in Greene’s case, this wasn’t for some single-issue party such as The Rent is Too Damn High Party. Greene won the Democratic Party nomination against four-term state legislator Vic Rawl, and is now competing against incumbent Senator DeMint.
The day after his primary win, Greene was charged with a felony for allegedly showing pornographic images to a student. Greene has relatively little funds, minimal name recognition, and is unemployed. Allegations abound that he was fraudulently placed on the ballot for the Democratic primary by Republicans to guarantee a win by DeMint.
Yet, on Oct. 19, with two weeks to go before the election, in his compilation of numerous polls, Nate Silver shows Alvin Greene with 30 percent of the South Carolina vote. He has 0 percent probability of winning (Silver 2010), but perhaps he should win.
In an election in which incumbents are running terrified due to popular unrest and overall dissatisfaction with Congress, a candidate with no political experience stands a decent chance of winning. One need only look to Dr. Rand Paul of Kentucky, an eye surgeon who is likely to win the United States Senate seat for Kentucky, to see that political inexperience can be an asset this year.
Alvin Greene’s Manifesto touts populist ideology that should ring home for many Americans in this struggling economy. He advocates free higher education to make America competitive, free health care to eliminate the numerous bankruptcies that plague our system when people get sick and can’t afford health care, increased banking regulation and the end of financial bailouts, curbing the export of U.S. jobs by American corporations, and eliminating waste by cutting defense spending.
If people were serious about putting an end to the misery of the recent deep recession and resuming a semblance of fiscal sanity with a balanced budget, his candidacy, despite Greene’s awkward persona, might be more legitimate. Instead, his opponent Jim DeMint, on his campaign website, is running on a platform of generic Republican social issues like anti-immigration and abortion and conservative fiscal ideology such as increased defense spending and lowering taxes, and is a shoo-in for this year’s election.
NY Mag. (2010). Jimmy McMillan Shares His Debate Strategy.
Nate Silver. (2010). Senate Forecasts – South Carolina
Alvin Greene. (2010). Manifesto for a Fairer America.
Jim DeMint. (2010). Campaign Website.