Jesse Helms Backyard

Mark Mays reports that Republicans are looking to get involved in the Democratic primary in North Carolina:

However, Tim Russert announced a potential scoop, that the state Republican party is planning to air television ads highlighting “controversial figures” in Sen. Obama’s past. I don’t doubt him for a moment on this, knowing what we know about their ease at pushing the Willie Horton button. The state org has in fact started to hit Obama a’ la Hobbs with some ineffectual press releases.

What reason would they have for doing this? It could be simply that the Republicans are terrified of facing Obama in the general election. It could be that they hope only to cause havoc in the primary by upsetting expectations in NC, attempting to ensure that there is a fight on the convention floor. Or, they like the media attention and are bored and want to grandstand. There are some active races in the state, the governor’s seat up for one, and it likely helps the GOP candidates a little to have attack ads on Dems up and running.