Monday, May 12, 2008


Near the end of a hard-fought campaign when victory is in sight, there is a temptation to relax in sight of the finish line. That is one temptation to resist. Opponents can still strike hard and perhaps, win. One can still stumble and lose.

Communications should avoid celebration and maintain the same caution one has when the decision is still ambiguous. Let others, such as the media, make the case that you have won. Don't make the case yourself until you do. The best leaders refuse to believe their press clips. They hew to their message and their goal and make sure their followers do as well. They realize that anything can happen -- and usually does. Hillary Clinton has battered Barack Obama and his own pastor has made his life difficult. He seems to appreciate that it "ain't over till it's over."

Still, it is easy to relax after the rigors of hard work and months more to come. However, should he win in November, the hard work is just beginning. The weight of the office will crash on him with expectations high and disappointment guaranteed because no one can live up to campaign rhetoric in reality. That is why it is never wise to promise too much -- a temptation politicians rarely resist.


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