Some of the most destructive campaign mistakes I’ve seen originate with a candidate who neglects to follow this tip.
You’re in the middle of a campaign. You’re juggling family and job and volunteers and donors and somewhere in the middle, your ears start shutting down. It can seem like they’re acting of their own accord.
It’s easy to understand how that happens right? It’s simply human.
The best way to keep from falling prey to this mid-campaign deafness is to prepare for the threat early in the campaign planning process.
This one seems so simple that some of you are probably saying, “How stupid do you think we are, Raz?!”
The simple fact is that far too often, fitness for the actual job of being an elected official is near the bottom of the list of reasons that motivate a candidate to run.
Everything from simply thinking that it’s an easy race to win, or that it’d have really cool job perks to general love of service are all reasons I’ve seen motivate a candidate to run much more powerfully than that they truly believe they’d be the best person to execute the job they seek.
Endorsements are awesome and as a candidate, you’ll want to accrue as many good ones as you can! But always get them in writing.
First of all, getting an endorsement in writing means that you have total proof of what the endorser wanted to say and there is zero ambiguity relating to their intention.
A candidate I was working against a few years back published several endorsements from elected officials who hadn’t actually endorsed her candidacy. All of the comments she published were made before her candidacy was known, even to them. They were saying nice things about her at political fundraisers, saying things only intended for the ears of the attendees, not a public endorsement of her election.
If you want the perfect visual example of why hats aren’t a good idea for candidates, just google Dukakis in the Tank. I’ve also linked to an article about the seminal event on our blog.
As you read about issues with candidates and hats, whether Calvin Coolidge in an Indian headdress, Mike Dukakis and his tank helmet or John Kerry in his bunny suit, there are two main lessons to take away.