While the political world has been largely amused by the trials and tribulations of mercurial South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Alvin Greene, party operatives are full of angst about his saga.
A homeless veteran who managed to win the nomination without so much as any formal campaigning, Greene has distinguished himself almost exclusively for bizarre political histrionics (such as pitching a self-styled action figure as a form of economic stimulus). In the process, an already easy reelection campaign for his opponent, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), has become even more of a cakewalk.
To argue that Democrats could have given DeMint a scare if another candidate had won in Greene's place is to ignore the decidedly conservative political landscape within South Carolina.
But during a panel at Netroots Nation on Friday, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director J.B. Poersch made the case that the party could have used the election to certain advantages. At the very least, the DSCC could have brought DeMint -- who has emerged as a major player among the conservative base -- down a notch.
"That type of situation breaks my heart," Poersch said of the Greene nomination. "Because there are parts of SC where unemployment is 20 percent and Jim DeMint is currently getting off the hook. He considers himself as a Republican presidential candidate, that's how he is spending his time, and the state suffers as a result."
Poersch went on to note that the state party in South Carolina has looked into whether there were "illegalities" behind Greene's victory. But he concluded that there was really nothing the party could do at this juncture.
"We should have had a viable candidate," he said.