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Pennsylvania is over – finally. I’m sick and tired of Chris Matthews telling me how smart “Eddie Rendell” is.

So now North Carolina is the biggest state left. Bill Clinton is back today. Hillary and Barack are coming. The New York Times, the networks, the bigfeet and the bloggers are scoping us out for colorful personalities and incisive looks into our psyche.

We’re giddy. It’s our day in the sun, our one shining moment. Finally, North Carolina matters in a presidential race.

Or do we?

Rob Christensen, the man who literally wrote the book on North Carolina politics, throws cold water on us first thing in the morning: It’s Indiana, stupid.

Say it ain’t so. Don’t take this away from us, Rob.

How long has it been since we mattered in the presidential primaries? So long ago that the last time (1988) Al Gore was telling us how much he loved tobacco.

Of course, it’s our fault. All us pundits and all the polls say Obama is so far ahead here that even the Clinton campaign has quietly backed away from predicting a victory.

But Hillary keeps hope alive. She won’t give up.

She’s turned the race into something like one of those interminable UNC basketball games when Dean Smith stretched out the last two minutes to last about two weeks. Obama, who is supposed to be quite the hoopster, can’t put her away.

Her only chance now is a miracle, an X-Factor, something so dramatic it convinces the cautious superdelegates that they should overturn the other delegates’ verdict, close though it may be.

So far, Obama has walked away from the Rev. Wright train wreck and dodged the “I’m Not Bitter” bullet.

More than thirty years ago, North Carolina saved Ronald Reagan’s political career. Can Hillary pull a Ronnie?

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