Monday, September 08, 2008

Obama Campaign Keeps Its Eye on the Ball

One of the hardest things for a lawyer to do in a jury trial is to keep his or her eye on the ball. To keep in mind that their purpose is not to score points off the opposing lawyer, or impress the judge with their legal abilities, or even to impress their clients. The purpose is to get the jury to agree that doing justice means returning a verdict in favor of their client.

It is amazing how many trial attorneys lose sight of that goal. They get distracted by what their opponents are doing, or by what the judge is doing, or by what their clients think of the trial. When that happens, their ability to get the jury to give their client a verdict is compromised.

The same thing is true of political campaigns. The ultimate goal of a political campaign is not to impress the media, or to win public opinion polls while the campaign is in progress. The ulitmate goal is win the election when the votes are cast.

What this means is that they can't get distracted by all the things that are occuring during the campaign. They can't get distracted by the media, or by what their supporters think is important, or even by what their opponents are doing.

In a jury trial, as in a campaign, the winning side will have a plan, a theme, that they follow, no matter what happens during the process. This is not to say that they shouldn't watch what is happening around them, and when appropriate, react to it, but it is to say that they have to make sure that they follow their plan.

The Obama campaign has exhibited an ability to do just that during the last several months. They had a plan to win the nomination which they followed. They weren't distracted from that plan by the media, or by Senator Clinton's campaign, or by even what their supporters wanted. They focused on winning the nomination like a laser and always keep that goal in sight.

The same will be true of the general election. National polls don't really mean a thing since a presidential election isn't one big national elections, but 50 state elections. The issue isn't whether the selection of Sarah Palin is getting McCain support in September, but whether it will get him support in November.

Those voters who want Obama to win should do what he is doing. Keep your eye on the ball, remember the ultimate prize is won nine weeks from now. Keep working. Talk to your family and friends about the importance of this election. Don't get distracted by the media or even by the Republicans.

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