With only two and a half months left before the 2010 general election, campaigns across Utah are starting to ramp up the intensity. And that means a lot of hard work. So it's time to repeat campaign advice I've given many times: All those little, hard details of a campaign will make a big difference in the end.
Sometimes people viewing political campaigns from afar assume running for office is all excitement, headlines, fun and big events. They couldn’t be more wrong. Ninety percent of a political campaign, especially for local offices, is boring and tedious -- just plain old hard work.
Myriad small projects, small details, must be taken care of, and it’s easy to question whether doing any of these little things is really very important or will make a difference in the campaign. The reality is that all the little things, if done smartly, ultimately add up to a big win. Candidates and campaign workers would prefer to be out doing big, glamorous things, like engaging in high-profile debates, filming television spots, holding high-level strategy meetings and visiting editorial boards. But those things won’t win an election unless they are supported by a solid foundation that has been built through a lot of attention to detail—all the little, boring things that ultimately add up to success.
Each lawn sign hammered in, each letter stuffed, each piece of direct mail sorted, each phone call made to an undecided voter, each piece of campaign literature dropped, each neighborhood walked, each hand shaken at a small county convention, each minute of time spent poring over maps and targeting categories of voters, may not of itself win the election. But cumulatively they’re the only way to win.
The reality is that political success usually results from a million little things coming together at the right time. Winning candidates and campaign workers spend hour after excruciating hour doing seemingly insignificant tasks, with plenty of wondering whether they’re making any headway. But if you’re working smart, getting the fundamentals done right, then it will all culminate in a big win at the end.