Posted by: mutantpoodle | October 23, 2008

The Relentless Pressure of the Consistent

When the 2008 Presidential campaign post-mortems are written (and no, the campaign isn’t dead, but it is, thankfully, under the two week mark) I wonder how those stories will approach what I think is the driving force behind the Obama campaign.

Relentless consistency.

Now, you can point out a Joe Biden gaffe here or there, and some poor word choices by Obama once or twice, but since the summer began, the campaign – as an overall strategic being – has been remarkably steady and consistent.

My friend Jack Edwards used to say that life imitates sports, and to follow on that, Obama’s campaign has the remorseless and overpowering consistency of some of the great sports dynasties in history.

I’m talking Yankees in the 1940’s and 50’s; Celtics in the 1960’s, Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970’s, and San Francisco 49ers in the 1980’s. (Yes there are others, but let’s leave it at those for now.)

Now, all those teams had talent and lots of it. But more than that, they were methodical. They played their game and made you play it with them. You knew when playing them that they would play well, so you put pressure on yourself to play at their level. And even if you kept up for a while, the pressure of that focus – so ingrained in those great teams – would invariably cause you to falter.

Now, the McCain campaign doesn’t strike me as being a terribly competent team – they seem to live for the small victories (winning the news cycle) which I’d compare to getting a football team to false start. Sure, it’s not good, but not determinative. But faced with the Obama folks, who (a) knew what was coming and (b) stuck to their game plan, they started to come undone.

It’s started already, and watch it grow. You’ll get the CYA leaks from the McCain folk just as you did from Hillary Clinton’s campaign this past spring. You’ll get stories about internal dissension within the McCain campaign. (See, for example, this NY Times Magazine piece on the McCain campaign.) From the Obama campaign, you’ll merely get what they intended to give you all along: a steady campaign with an unwavering plan entering its final phase, which is banking as many votes as possible now and collecting the rest on November 4th.

Meanwhile, as Barack Obama heads to Hawaii to see his grandmother, I leave you with this clip of him speaking yesterday in Virginia, slamming the “real America” idiocy coming from McCain-Palin.

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