Will Hillary sling tar in the NC primary?

by Ogi Overman

I have a sign on my downtown office desk that reads, “Beware of Attack Democrat.” Apparently someone gave Hillary one, too. But they neglected to tell her that it’s supposed to be directed toward, like, Republicans.

The seemingly endless primary campaign season is being protracted interminably, not by the closeness of the Democratic race but by the fact that Hillary has chosen to go Swift Boat on Obama. It is genuinely disgusting to see the depths she’s sunk to in mounting her fearmongering campaign. Her “Ready on Day One” mantra is falling on deaf ears; her “Solutions” theme is lame even by political sloganeering standards; and her dog and pony show on NAFTA is beneath contempt, so she goes all Republican and pulls out the “phone call at three in the morning” ad. The fact that many Republicans thought it was brilliant tells you all you need to know.

But what about my little sign referenced above, you ask? What’s the diff? The difference is that we, as stand-up Democrats, do not cannibalize one another. We wait until attacked, but as soon as the first volley of slime is launched, we have a counterattack ready. Hillary launched her attack preemptively, as if taking a cue from President Gumby. And she used it against a fellow Dem, an act of desperation that will ultimately backfire, if it hasn’t already. Yes, she won three out of four two Tuesdays ago, but she’d been entrenched in both Ohio and Texas for years and knew that it was Custer’s last stand if she lost. Hence the “phone call at three in the morning” disgrace.

Speaking of her repeated slams against Obama over his lack of foreign policy experience, if you want to carry that argument to its logical absurdity, she has only slightly more experience than Laura Bush. Even our dumbed-down electorate isn’t buying the sham that being First Lady counts as genuine experience. And, as Obama correctly points out, all that “experience” impelled her to cast the vote that gave the Duh tacit permission to invade Iraq. In the most important senatorial decision of her career, she sided with the “president.” She blew it.

Then we get to her flimsy argument that the delegates from Florida and Michigan should now be counted, even though the rules were set by the Democratic National Committee the moment they moved up their primaries. She knows the only way she can win is to change the rules midstream, in effect making them up as she goes along.

It’s a sad spectacle to watch her stoop so low, sadder still watching Bill out doing her bidding in the most repugnant-by-their-subtlety smears I’ve seen by a Democrat.

Still, I am encouraged that Obama seems to continue along the high road. Yes, he’s doing it the right way by rebutting her attacks (and McCain’s) instantaneously, without resorting to Rovian tactics. His honor is intact, even as Hillary wallows in the gutter.

Now, you may or may not have been paying much attention to the race so far, but brace yourself, dear hearts: In about a month you’re going to be so bombarded by it that you’ll want to pull a John Prine and “blow up your TV.” After the Pennsylvania primary, North Carolina becomes the next big battleground. We’ve gone from a late-season afterthought to a ready-for-prime-time player. Our May 6 date is make-or-break time and, rest assured, we’re going to get to know Obama and Hillary better than we even want to.

Meanwhile John “Candidate By Default” McCain stumbles along, painfully aware that he’s running on the coattails of the most unpopular president since, well, since forever. At least he showed up late at the White House last week, making Mister Bojangles wait before giving him his endorsement, which gave his stock a slight boost in my book.

Knowing Bush is in your corner must make you sleep well at night, eh? Yessir buddy, that’ll get you over the top.

Yet, if you think it’s getting ugly now, wait ’til the general election. Wait until Rove gets re-involved and cranks up the GOP hit squads. Obama’s middle name being Hussein, the false claims that he is a Muslim and the bit about him not wearing an American flag lapel pin or putting his hand over his heart during the “National Anthem” – is that all you got? – will pale in comparison. The Republican Slime Machine has no lower boundaries, trust me. These bottom feeders will sling all the mud in the La Brea Tar Pits in an effort to smear Obama and avoid a discussion of the issues.

But, unlike Kerry, who let the Swift Boaters emasculate him, Obama, having been toughened up by Hillary’s smears, will be ready to defend himself.

They’d better beware of this Attack Democrat.

Ogi Overman may be reached at, heard Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. on “The Dusty Dunn Show” on WGOS 1070 AM, and seen on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth on ABC 45 at 6:30 a.m. Fridays and on WMYV 48 at 10 p.m. Sundays.