It is important to take stock every once in a while. Today is such a day.
There has been two weeks of engagements and in the midst of battle your focus shifts from the long term to the short term.
Take a day to regroup. This does not mean take a day off, it means schedule a light day so that you can catch up on the details that, if left unfinished, will grow into a deeper problem.
For the campaign, it means getting up to date with correspondence and requests for information, set a strategy for the next two weeks, get in touch with those who are proffering information to your campaign, check supplies (especially printing ink), and organize your documents and workers.
LESSON TWELVE: AS CRAZY AS THIS MAY SOUND, ALWAYS THINK ABOUT YOUR HEALTH. IF YOU ARE NOT HEALTHY, YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED. BEING TIRED CAUSES MISTAKES, OFTEN SIMPLE ONES THAT CAN PROVE FATAL. YOUR OPPONENTS HAVE LARGE STAFFS AND CAN EASILY GET STUFF DONE, WHICH WILL PUT YOU AT A DISADVANTAGE.
KEEP HYDRATED AND EAT A BALANCED DIET. SLEEP, ALTHOUGH WHEN YOU’RE GOING A MILE A MINUTE IT IS DIFFICULT. WHEN POSSIBLE, CONSERVE YOUR ENERGY. STRETCH AND TAKE DEEP BREATHS IN SPARE MOMENTS.
A CAMPAIGN WILL ALWAYS TAKE A TOLL ON YOU. THE END OF THE CAMPAIGN WILL LEAVE YOU SOMEWHAT EMPTY – WIN OR LOSE. THE LAST TWO WEEKS WILL REQUIRE A BURST OF ENERGY SO PREPARE ACCORDINGLY.
ALSO, BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF POLITICS, YOU WILL BE IN CONTACT WITH MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE. GERMS SPREAD FROM SUCH CONTACT AND ADJUST YOUR BEHAVIOR ACCORDINGLY. WASH YOUR HANDS EVERY CHANCE YOU GET, JUST NOT IN FRONT OF OTHERS.
For me, I try to stay healthy as a priority. I eat oatmeal in the morning in that, like your mom told you, it will stick with you. Have a light lunch, but carry some fruit with you. Eat a dinner meal daily, even if you are not hungry, which is quite likely. Carry a bottle of water.
While this may seem ridiculous advice, it is common sense. Too often we get so involved that we forget the basics. Do so at your own peril.
As to strategy, the first phase of the campaign has just about ended. The first two weeks are usually full of good news, welcoming, and whooping up interest. In this campaign, we have had a powerful entry and are currently riding on a high. This will not last. Enjoy today with an eye to tomorrow.
In review of the media, consider who reported fairly and accurately. Sloppy reporting means you either need to work harder to educate the reporter or decide you can live without that coverage. Always beware of a reporter who doesn’t take the time to write the story correctly. While you may have benefitted from a news story, still note where it was not clear or wrong.
The recent press coverage was good. The political talking heads have generally been open. Note the exceptions. There are a few detractors (which is good because you need a foil). Listen to their comments. In our campaign, the talking heads against me have been largely limited to ad hominem attacks (hippie, Jerry Garcia, etc). While your immediate reaction would be to reply. Don’t.
Such attacks can serve as a good gauge as to the campaign. If their comments are against you as a person and not against your stand on the issues, there is a clear sense that they are lacking any substance to argue. Their frustration is showing every time they call you names (remember the school yard).
Issue empty criticism is probably more related to their inner psychological workings. Recognize this and move on. Engage only when they raise issues. Personal attacks show desperation. Remember the five stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Sound familiar? Watch it unfold.
The next phase relates to a daily war of attrition, usually including a sniping campaign. The opponent is now aware of you, take calculated moves that do not necessarily indicate the thrust of your major attack plan, but moves that keep the opponent in a defense posture.
Your opponents by this time have amassed their file of your history, past writings, and whatever they perceive as their atomic bomb. The review of the media, being largely personal attacks, seems to mean that they have yet to formulate a criticism or have found little to work with. Although, remember the saying, ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story’. Be prepared to defend against such falsehoods that might be spread.
When they spring their surprise, do not immediately take the bait. Gather your defense materials and be ready to defend. If it gets out of hand in the media, provide your information. If not, wait to strike with the defense when the best moment arrives.