THE LONG MARCH TO NOVEMBER….Michael Scherer reports that Floyd Brown, the guy responsible for the Willie Horton ad in 1988, is now setting his sights on Barack Obama with a new spot scheduled to run in North Carolina:

The new ad recounts the deaths of three Chicago residents in 2001 at the hands of criminal gangs. “That same year, a Chicago state senator named Barack Obama voted against expanding the death penalty for gang-related murders,” an ominous female narrator intones. “So the question is, can a man so weak in the war on gangs be trusted in the war on terror?”

….Later this week, Brown said he plans to debut a second ad, focusing on Democratic support for giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, which he says will also be aired in North Carolina. The second ad will be paid for by Citizens for a Safe and Prosperous America, the 527 group, which can accept donations of any amount. “This is a long march to November,” Brown said. “Right now it’s beginning a process that gives us the information to succeed in August and September.”

No big surprise here, and it’s not clear if Brown really has much backing. What’s more, these particular ads don’t even sound all that effective. Still, the games are beginning. Fasten your seatbelts.