I developed my taste for bare-knuckled politics growing up in North Carolina, where both local and statewide races were often entertainingly tawdry and replete with dirty tricks.
One of the formative political experiences of my young adulthood, in fact, was the 1984 U.S. Senate election between Jim Hunt, the Democratic governor of the state, and incumbent Republican Senator Jesse Helms.
Both sides pulled out all the stops--it was the costliest and arguably the dirtiest Senate campaign in U.S. history at the time--but Helms won in a squeaker.
Today I was delighted to discover that two veteran political consultants who met during the 1984 campaign -- Gary Pearce, who was Hunt's man, and Carter Wrenn, who was Helms's -- are publishing a blog together these days. It's called TalkingAboutPolitics.com, and while it has a definite Old North State flavor, their observations about party and process transcend regional and state boundaries.
Brother Bubba says check it out.