Alvin Greene (copy) (copy)

Alvin Greene at the time he won the 2010 Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in South Carolina. File/Mary Ann Chastain/AP

Eight years after stunning the South Carolina political world, Alvin Greene doesn't like to answer a lot of questions.

He won't say where he's living.

He won't say if he has a full-time job.

It's pretty clear he's disappeared back into his life of obscurity.

But he will say this: "I was the most-covered candidate in the world that election year."

In 2010, the unemployed no-hoper famously walked in from his home in the cornfields of Clarendon County, plunked down $10,440 of his Army G.I. pay to run for the U.S. Senate with absolutely no political experience.

Now 41, Greene became an overnight celebrity as a result — The Washington Post and outlets nationally and internationally carried stories — after recording a surprisingly easy 30,000-vote primary win over Democratic establishment favorite Vic Rawl, a retired Charleston County judge.

It made Greene the nominee to take on powerful GOP incumbent Jim DeMint.

It didn't matter he had little grasp of the issues, had no staff, no cellphone or computer and would be criminally charged with showing obscene material to a coed at a University of South Carolina computer lab.

It also didn't matter that his interviews became awkward and stilted affairs of monotone answers, sometimes only "yes" or "no." 

Some say he won the nomination because his name came first on the ballot in an otherwise dull race.

"The scoundrel here appears to be the alphabet," joked "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart at the time in a nearly 10-minute Greene-centered monologue. 

He was an embarrassment to the S.C. Democratic Party, which prodded him to drop out.

“It is apparent that he is a weak candidate,” said then-party Chairwoman Carol Fowler. “He says he’s campaigned, but I haven’t found anybody who’s met him.”

Alvin Greene mania got so out of hand that he would eventually become the star of his very own comic book, dubbing him the Ultimate Warrior, and there was an ersatz action figure.

DeMint crushed him that November by nearly 450,000 votes.

Today, that's ancient history.

Greene's biggest goal now is to peddle the "Who is Alvin Greene?" documentary (available on Amazon) that features his story.

That's his real job, he said.

Greene's rise came about largely based on South Carolina's open primary laws that basically mean anyone with enough money to pay the state's filing fees can get on any ballot they choose.

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That's how avowed Bernie Sanders liberal Dimitri Cherny was able to crash the 1st Congressional District Republican primary for Charleston's seat in Congress this year, becoming the third candidate on the ballot versus Katie Arrington and incumbent Mark Sanford. Arrington won.

The S.C. Republican Party wants to address what they see as election law holes during the 2019 session with legislation that would create the option of voters registering by party. State GOP Chairman Drew McKissick called it the "best, most feasible" way to begin identifying credentials of who is a Republican, Democrat or other.

Greene said he does have positive memories of his 15 minutes of fame as a statewide candidate. There were a few campaign appearances but no debates. There were some breakfasts and picnics.

"It was an experiment," he said. "I didn't know how I would be received."

He seems unaware of the money that's at stake in politics.

He wondered "How much money I could raise? Like a billion dollars ... like these other senators, like a million dollars like these other senators?" he said during a nearly 40-minute phone interview.

For a Democrat, he's also willing to speak heresy: He supports President Donald Trump. 

"I think he's doing better than President (Barack) Obama and the Democrats were doing eight years ago," he said.

He had one other question: "Are you going to pay me for these interviews?"   

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.