For the first time in my memory I matter in a presidential primary. I would matter more if I were voting on the Democrat ballot, but for the first time in a long time, North Carolina is a player in a presidential election.
My state of North Carolina rarely gets to see the big presidential campaign show up close and personal. In recent years Republican presidential candidates have been pretty comfortably ahead in the months leading up to the November election and due to our May primary the nominations are usually decided well before the Tarheel State votes. That is definitely not the case this year.
Although John McCain has the GOP nomination wrapped up, the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continues to rage. All the more so after this week’s big Clinton win in Pennsylvania.
The circus has definitely come to town. It’s kinda cool, actually. Even if the Democrats are the focus of most of the excitement.
We are getting visits from the candidates and their spouses and their children on a regular basis now. Chelsea Clinton is even being asked by North Carolina university students about her dad’s affairs. And it is making national news.
Now that we are finally “players” in the big game, we are seeing campaign commercials constantly, too. Obama and Hillary are all over the airwaves. They even talk to us personally. Hillary is answering questions from North Carolinians in her ads. In a speech in Indiana, Obama recently mentioned a North Carolina man who has no health care.
What has perhaps been most exciting, though, is a story that is still developing about an ad created by the North Carolina Republican Party which shows the Democrat candidates for governor and Obama’s now famous (or rather infamous) Reverend Wright. At least one local station has rejected the ad. John McCain and the Republican National Committee have asked the state party that the ad not be run. It will be interesting to see how this story shakes out, and what makes it all the more fun is that I will get to watch it on Fox News and in other national media. Hey, I’ll bet they will even ask Karl Rove about this one. The political junkie in me is in heaven.