Why was there no President Rudy Giuliani , President Hillary Clinton or President Thomas E . Dewey ?
The actual story of how an almost incoherent Harry Truman overcame a dashing , crime-busting district attorney-turned-governor is far more revealing . Dewey was not complacent or overconfident , and much of the hell Truman tried to deliver was confusing , inarticulate ,and garbled . As with Giuliani and Clinton in 2008 , critical steps taken before the campaign are what made the difference .
There are two winners in every presidential election campaign : the inevitable winners when it begins and the inevitable victor after it ends . This book explain the difference between them .
It is hard to predict who will win apresidential campaign , whether it is for the nomination of a party or the presidency itself . It is easy , though, to predict the excuses the losers will give later .When presidential candidates explain their defeat , they generally say they were outspent , or they couldn't get any coverage from the press , or that someone else had wrapped up all the endorsements . Giuliani , Clinton and Dewey each had tha money , the endorsement and an audience .
Somehow , after the fact , it seems obvious that they never had a chance . Giuliani couldn't win because he was a pro-choice catholic with a huge ego . Clinton could never win because she was a woman , divisive , and supported national healthcare . And Dewey was a threat to the New Deal and no match for Truman's populism .
So how did George H.W. Bush , who never manage to win a statewide election in Texas and who championed the Equal Right Amendment , ever win ? How did Ronald Reagan , who started so far to the left that he was too liberal for the Hollywood Democratic Club to run him for Congress in 1950 , and who had nothing but rich friends , ever win ? And how did Barack Obama , an African American with a Kenyan father and an unmarried white mother , ever win ?
In every presidential election , there are three possible campaigns any candidate can run : he can run as a " challenger " trying to regain the White House for his party , an " Incumbent "trying to stay in the White House , or as a " successor " trying to retain the White House for the party in power .
The three campaigns repeat like movies roles :
Challengers offer a fresh start , incumbents offer experience , and successors - the toughest campaign - offer continuity . Each role has different inherent vulnerabilities . Each role also experiences different organizational challenges during the campaign .
Candidates who do not understand which campaign they are waging make predictable strategic mistakes . For example , they misjudge how and when to fight . When Tyson was the greatest boxer in the world , reporters would ask him about his opponents strategy " They all have a strategy ", Tyson replied , " until they get hit ".
There are effective attacks and effective counter attacks even when a candidate is hit by a Tysonlike uppercut on the campaign trail . But counterattacks only succeed when a candidate knows the rules of engagements ny which she will be judged . Figuring out how people will frame her fight makes all the difference between the candidate who gets knocked out and the one who picks herself up again . And that is the topic of this book . It sounds simple ........but it is not .
Even the most sophisticated observers repeat the common mistake of falling for the person who seems to have all the inherent God-given traits of a leader - like charisma , popularity , and a powerful presence . The problem with this is that time and again we are usually wrong about which qualities a candidate must ultimately have .
Movie oruducers are " forever searching for heroes " because people look to winners for inspirations . Everyone thinking about running for president looks at the current president to see how he did it , and whether she can measure up to that campaign and use the same strategy and tactics . This is a near-certain road to defeat .Thre are no magic formulas or silver bullets , buy many people claim to have one - that this time is different .
When you write about war , Barbara Tuchman cautioned , write as if you " did not know who would win ." A presidential campaign like a military campaign , is what Tuchman is credited with calling " the unfolding of miscalculations " . there are always perilous . Charisma , money , and polls are not enough to make it yhrough a campaign .Every campaign was a learning experience .
Gore campaign was dysfunctional , incoherent , and low on spirit de corps or unity . As was mu custom , I tried to reassess what I had learned from Gore's campaign - but I was unable to achieve closure . For more than a decade I tried to make sense of that disastrous campaign . This book is the result .
And my initial hunch was confirmed that critical campaign decisisons depend not on the technology around the team but on the team around the candidate .Roger , ever practical , challenged me to explain why campaign strategy wasn't just a standard business school exercise planning .Planning strategy is harder for a candidate than for a corporation .
Slowly and inevitably I realized that what an intellectually prepare candidate needs is not s perfect strategy or up-to-date technology , or even the best strategist , speechwriter , or pollster ; "winning depends upon a candidate ability to fashion a team that can work with him and his family , and keep them agile and resient through the next presidential campaign" .
The candidate has to persuade skeptical voters that she is " one of us " , that she understand their lives and share their values . She has to show everyone a visison of where she wants to take the country during the next four years and how she will lead us there . And the candidate has to oversee her campaign and show people that she can command the ship of the state .
JIMMY CARTER'S DAY
Carter had succeeded in the primaries largely by virtue of a personal approach that was moral , plainspoken , and a clear contrast to Washington candidates tainted by the legacy of Vietnam , President Nixon Impeachment , and support for increasingly divisive busing policies .
His Pennsylvania campaign hung " by a slender Thread " his campaign manager admitted , and even that threat looked ready to snap . Carter had made the decision to focus on Pitsburgh and Philadelphia in the homestretch , but that choice led to other choices : what to say in each city , to whom to give interviews , and which local politicians to be photographed . For just one day of campaigning , Carter had to prepare for questions from the press a bout Philadelphia politics , Yugoslavia , steel imports , union contracts , and whether he promised or merely " hoped for "a tax cut : he had to woo Catholics without alienating Baptists and talk about the role of human rights in foreign policy . He also had to meet with speechwriters and talk with his senior staff about where he and his wife would spent the last four days of the election . And for each stop . he had to learn the names of the local dignitaries he must greet and those he should avoid .
PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH'S DAY
Bush's campaign strategist had known since August that his reelection campaign would be more about jobs and foreign trade . While the second tier Democrats - Senators Kerry . Tsongas and Harkin and Gov Clinton and Jerry Brown - all look beatable , bush's chief strategist , the pollster Bob Teeter , though they would have three month to " establish Bush's credentials on the economy " . Patrick Buchanan sensed Bush's vulnerability and decided to challenge him in the New Hamshire primary , and the Senate Republicans scurried to introduce their own healthcare legislation . The " R word " recession , was in the air , and declining incomes and raising insurance premiums were people's big concerns .
The lack of an economic program was a serious enough problem that the White House feared Bush would be booed in the economically distressed state of New Hampshire . The President signed a 151 billion high way bill , he told the media that his domestics priorities were jobs , jobs , jobs . Bush has to be ready to talk about the highways bill and the factory closing .
The press conference about the delegation of businessmen accompanying him to Japan required President Bush to anticipate the reactions of Japan , China , and the European Union ; prepare for questions about the state of the economy and the feasibility and credibility of his approach ; defend the choices of businessman in his delegation ; be ready for questions about the recession ; show concern for struggling families ; and outline what he would do to keep Japanese auto companies from taking even more market from their American competition .
VICE PRESIDENT GORE'S DAY
Mary Matlin , one of the top Republican strategists , was framing Gore as a down graded third term for Clinton , identifying him with none of the achievements and all of the scandals .
The media experts , Robert Squier and Bill Knapp , believed that Gore , while having been in the public eye as vice president for almost eight years , was known mainly by name and media caricatures .Squire told Gore his numbers would improve after Gore stepped up to the plate as a candidate ans asserted himself . Then the campaign could fill in the public image .
The campaign staff agreed that there were three main steps in Gore's launch : a formal announcement speech outlining his vision for the next four years ; a long television interview where he finally talked on camera about how he felt when he learned that Bill Clinton had misled him about Monica Lewinsky ; and interviews with Tipper alone or with Al , in which both displayed the warmth and intimacy of their marriage and family life .
For just one day Al Gore had to prepare to discuss AIDS drugs , education, farm price supports , high technology , and the environment . He had to be ready for fast-breaking news about Kosovo if the cease of fire broke down . He had to decide how to woo environmentalists and union leaders dissatisfied with eight years of compromisis . And he had to decide how far he could go to satisfy them without alienating moderates in the general election . And he had to know the names of dignitaries on all the paltforms during upcoming visits to Iowa City and Cedars Rapid , Iowa
and Manchester and Concord , New Hampshire . And he needed to know which of them needed special treatment because they were being wooed by Bradley .
THREE JOBS OF A CANDIDATE
Carter , Bush and Gore were all juggling the same three jobs thst any candidate - then or now - must manage : they were part of a royal family , demonstrating the virtues and values of a leader ; a leader of a start-up company , developing and refining his vision of the future ; and a CEO overseeing a large organization .
1-Create a Public Identity - Defining the Candidate .
Working to develop a brand name years in advance has always been part and parcel of prepairing for a run at higher offices . The candidate sell the personal qualities he will put to service of the country : representing the nation to the world , speaking to the people , and exemplifying the best of the country . He also sells the idea that he can guide legislation and preside over the government and promote peace and prosperity .
2-Develop a Vision of the Future .
The inner circle around the candidate typically involves a small group of people with their sleeves rolled up , who brainstormin for hours , argue about options , try out numerous formulations , tweak the details , and refine the product . Ther has always been a small group like this that worked directly with the candidate to refine and develop the core message of the campaign .
3-Preside over the Campaign .
Carter , Bush and Gore all deals with issues similar to those of CEO , overseeing large groups to whom responsibility for epecific issues had been delegated : Cater reviewed drafts of his speeches , discussed travel achedules , prepared to greet local dignitaries , and signed of advertising campaigns : Bush went over the list of executives that the secretaries of Treasury and Commerce had assembled for his trip, decided which economic proposals to accept , and where to go and what to say in Asia ; Gore reviewed fundraising plans and briefings from policy experts .
To be taken seriously a candidate must excel at one of the jobs :monarch , visionary or CEO . There is no guidebook for how to look presidential .
Nor is there ever an ideal vision of the future that any candidate can offer .Candidates have no such safety net ; their vision and image are constantly and publically refined from the moment they declare their candidacy , and they are credible only if their vision is consistent with their image . That consistency is a challenge to maintain .How can a candidate exemplify authenticity and sincerity when they constantly confer with pollsters , writers , and media experts to decide what they truly mean ?Authenticity is a claim , not a fact , and the candidate must persuade people the claim is true .
Conclusion : Rent a Campaign ?
Anyone audacious enough to run knows already how to bluff . They have to be able to avoid the pitfalls of overconfidence and be ready to back up their claims . They also have to be agile enough to adapt to the luck of the draw . Like athletes , they have to forward- thrusting , concentrating on the next play , not brooding on mistakes . They have to be tough without a gun , and soft spoken with one . When they defeat opponents , they must persuade voters they are out to defend them , not destroying others for personal gain. And they must be resilient enough to keep going after public humiliation from defeat or exposure .
Some of the decision are like chess and others are like poker .
PLANNING FOR CHAOS
The candidate security blanket is a message that they feel will persuade others they should be president . In 1988 Sen Joe Biden , for example couldn't run until he had refined and rehearsed every line of his stump speech and felt confident he would " get the connect ".
As Biden soon learned ,a message that connects is only the beginning of an effective campaign strategy ; what matters is how voters regard the candidate after the other candidates have responded .It is not what sounds best when the candidate speaks , but what sounds best after the opponents have responded .
Karl Rove credited his high school debate experience for teaching him to look ahead several moves :
You had to be ready to argue both sides of the question on a moment's notice . So we picked apart our own arguments , anticipated the counter arguments , and picked those apart , too . Gaming the debate out as many moves in advance as possible was a great training for politics ..It taught me that staying on offense was important and that once you were on defense , it was hard to regain of the dialogue .
Johny Mercer and Arlen's popular song :
You got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
But what accentuates the positives and what eliminates the negative ?Which positives are the most persuasive in this campaign and which negatives most damaging ? What makes the choice between these candidates so clear that there is no in-between , no ambiguity ?.
The term " MESSAGE BOX " has become common usage for strategist describing campaign strategy . It is a simple tool to make sure that the many messages from a campaign are coherent , unified , and account for the actions of the opponent . It is a square divided into four cuadrants :
- What the candidate will say about him-or herself
- What the candidate will say about his or her opponent(s)
-What the opponent(s) will say about him or herself
-What the opponent(s) will say about the candidate.
The goal is to keep the campaign clear and unified . Accentuate your positives, eliminate your negatives , and minimize any unclear " in-betweens" to maximize your advantage over opponents. It might look simple , but nothing could be harder than keeping a presidential campaign consistent and coherent .
A candidate only has unified messages if the campaign makes myriad difficult decisions based partly on fact , paretly on analysis of the political terrain , and partly on intuition or experience . And a candidate's message remain unified only if she can adjust her message box during the campaign .
Each candidate wants to put his best foot forward and say things that make his opponent less attractive . Each candidate also wants to persuade voters she has the best understanding of the country's problems .
Every diagnosis contains an implicit solution . A campaign has to define the nation's problems in a manner that persuades voters one particular candidate is the best solution . It would be a mistake for a candidate to persuade voters they have qualities needed in the next president if a competitor has more of the same qualities .
I have analyzed the strategies and tactics for the candidates since 1948 in both parties .
" This message box contains the essence of options considered in a typical presidential campaign "
THE MESSAGE BOX
CANDIDATE ON SELF CANDIDATE ON OPPONENT
Establish Character and Credibility Undermine Character and Credibility
- Personal roots - Flip-flops
- Milestone - Incompetence
- Record of accomplishments -Personal contradictions
Party and Reassurance : Relation to Party Undermine Foundation of Vision- Cheap Talk
- How different from the party - Inconsistent , "bad "votes
- How more like the party than realized? - Associates with "bad" advisors or allies
- Her donors have "dark" motives
Definitive Differences with Opponents Undermine the Differences
- Goals - Only good for "them"
- Groups - Muddle their contacts
- Issues - Show contradictions
OPPONENT ON CANDIDATE OPPONENT ON SELF
Undermine Character & Credibility Establish Character & Credibility
- Flip-Flops - Personal roots
- Incompetence - Milestone
- Personal contradictions - Record of accomplishments
Undermine Foundation of Vision - Cheap Talk Party and Reassurance: Relations to Party
- Inconsistencies , "bad" votes - How different from the party?
- Associates with "bad" advisors or allies - How more like the party ?
- Her donors have "dark" motives - How much to update party ?
Undermine the Difference Define the Difference
- Only good for "them' - Goal
- Muddle their contacts - Groups
- Show contradictions - Issues
Candidates on self
Credibility is essential yet hard to ascertain , voters may not be able to define credibility , but they "know" it when they see it .
People are more sensitive to information about motives than competence . A laundry list of accomplishments doesnot galvanize people who do not know anything about the character of the candidate . Character and virtues are like moral firewalls . A good messages box always establishes a candidates values by talking about her personal biography or by demonstrating moral or religious passion .
To build trust with the voters and overcome unpopular policies , a candidate has to rely upon his home style. "Home style" was the term coined of what representatives do when they return home from Washington .
" Candidates want support , and they offer responsiveness ; citizens want responsiveness , and they offer support " . That exchange of trust could be done many different ways , but it always involved assurances that the politician was " one of us " and not only " of Washington ".
What type of assurances persuade voters that the politician is "one of us " ?.Carter highlight his past as a peanut farmer . Gore's reference to his service in Vietnam showed that he has not relied on privilege and education to avoid going - as had his opponent Bush . bush eat chickens with workers to show that he was still in touch with regular americans .
Candidates have to decide which past blemishes and failures to address directly and which they should try to ignore .
Candidates must also decide how to relate to their party . Clinton was a " new kind of democrat". , Bush called himself a " compassionate conservative " .
Opponent on Candidate .
The other two quadrants focus on what the opponent , or a journalist is likely tosay about the candidate .Each candidate must decide how to minimize the credibility of his opponent vision and program . What kind of attacks on her opponent most enhance her own attractiveness? It is useless, after all, to assail an opponent in a way that hurts the attackers more than the attacked . A candidate will invariably say her opponent is not like the voters , does not understand them , and thus cannot be trusted .
A ubiquitous tactic is to persuade voters that the other candidate is a flip-flopper who turns with the political winds .
Highlighting the personal contradictions between an opponent's life and professed commitments is another common tactic .
Responding to Attack
When a candidate is attacked , there are three possibles options : push back ; attack the attack ; or push the envelope .
"Pushing back" refers to rebutting the attack , as in Nixon famous " I am not a crook "speech . The problem with this tactic , as Karl Rove like to say , is that " when you are explaining , you are losing "
'Attacking the attack " means labeling the attack as mudslinging or scare tactics - old style politics from an inferior opponent who has run out of ideas . If your opponent call you a liar , call him a thief .
" Pushing the envelope " means continuing to advance a daring policy while brushing off the attacks as smoke screens , desperate attempts to drown out an issues because an opponent has no alternative .
As simple as these options may seem. the appropriate choice always depends upon knowing what voters already absorbed , how they evaluate the different responses , and what they care about .
The Plan is Nothing , The Planning is Everything .
In war , as in political campaigns , " the plan is nothing ; the planning is everything . " The strategic Plan " last only until the war starts ". Candidates never know what will go wrong or where the miscalculations are most likely to occur .
All Strategies Are Misleading .
A well-constructed message box purports to provide a map of the campaign . It should relate strategy ( which battle to fight) and tactics ( how to fight the battles ) The only problem is that all maps are flawed .
Strategies are also valuable only when they make the relevant features prominent and leave out the others .
When they start planning , candidates cannot know which certainty how to portray themselves in their campaign and must prepare for uncertainty futures.
The Political Terrain
The political terrain is determined by the public's views of the president , the political parties , and the current state of the nation .Each candidate has developed a public reputation for specific issues or traits . Suddenly , in an instant , the terrain can shift under their feet .
In 1992 Carville's rule was " In politics , you have not said anything until you have said it on TV "When Carville asserted the necessity of getting on TV to communicate to voters , email was not widespread . In 2000 there was no YouTube or Facebook . In 2008 Obama was the first candidate to place real campaign messages on virtual billboards in video games .
Communication technologies have always been in constant flux .
The candidates cannot be sure in advance where the audiences will be or who will control access to them .
New media transform yesterday's private indiscretion into tomorrow's expose . Today's off-color comments are tomorrow's evidence of poor character or bad judgment .
The War Room.
No campaign could stay "on message " if it were constantly either defending against charges - spurious or legitimate - or ignoring them , thereby looking too weak and clueless to defend themselves .
"Sticking to a strategy involves far more for a candidate than knowing a message and sticking to it".
Candidates need a small group of campaign leaders - usually no more than five or six people - that works together with the candidate to develop , revise , and refine strategy while the candidate is raising funds , giving interviews , and speaking to voters around the country .
The War Room was developed to cut through traditional campaign bureaucracy .It reorganized the presidential campaign to provide the speedier responses needed to communicate in the era of the 24 hours news cycles , with the goal of controlling the national conversation about where the country should go and who should lead it there .
In the era of non stop news on television , a message box could guide a campaign only if there was a group that could monitor public opinion and adjust the campaign's message fast enough to deflect , turn back , or preempt moves by the opposition . Only continuous face to face contact among principals would make it possible for the campaign to alter its strategy and tactics rapidly enough to keep up with the pace of the new media .
Rapid response require extensive advance planning to be ready for the opposition's most likely tactics . The goal was to evaluate every message and ad as part of a debate ; a message was never used just because it sounded good or tested well on its own . This meant evaluating messages on the basis of how persuasive they were after people had seen a countermessage .This could not be done without the kind of planning and replanning the military emphasizes .
Neither campaign , of course , can totally control the dialogue with the public , so each tries to throw the other off its choosen message .
The 1992 War Room's success was such that it still the base of the family tree for presidential campaigns today .The goal then , as now , was keeping the campaign on strategy .Rapid response is necessary but not sufficient for a strong campaign . A candidate has to be agile enough to maneuver through the media and sudden changes in the political climate . A candidate has to be resilient to get back up and keep going after setbacks or feeding frenzies from the press . Planning and coordination are necessary so that each battle is fought with an eye on how the tactics affect future battles .
Teamwork and the Politics of Strategy .
The central existential problem for a presidential candidate is : How does someone with enough ego and audacity to run deal wiyh their personal weakness ? Stuart Stevens favorite axiom for candidate is " If you do not enter this process humbly , you will leave humbly " But how can anyone asserting they are the most qualified to lead the nation acknowledge that someone else might know more about some parts of the job than they do ?Lawyers like to say that no one should ever ask a witness a question in court if they do not already know the answer .
Strategy is Political .
No campaign needs a strategy for deciding how to tell the temperature or time of day . Whenever the answer is clear and easy to determine , no strategist need apply . But campaign information is always confusing . There is never time to wait for better information , and it is often unclear what information is most relevant .
Changing strategy is just as political as changing tax code ; it redistribute power , status , and resources among members of the campaign .
Just as in warfare , the people who decide which battles should be fought and what weapons are required have a strong personal stakes in the decisions. Every change in strategy or tactics creates winners and losers among team members , Strategists , Steven Walt has shown " are unlikely to favor strategic proposals that undermine their own positions ......(they have ) a greater interest in defending their positions than in pursuing the truth .
Candidates need people who can handle the pressure and intensity of governing and of the campaign .
Candidates cannot eliminate the conflicts , they can only manage them .
" What Got You Here Won't Get You There "
The biggest difference between Carter , Bush ,and Gore was the type of campaign they were running .
Carter the challenger , campaigned on the promise of change and was being judged by his campaign , not his little-known record in Georgia . He could turn his campaign in a new direction overnight .
President G.H. Bush , as the incumbent , had the power and majesty of the government behind him and was hailed as the chief .He was also closely connected to foreign policy , an issue that no longer mattered much to voters . Bush now wanted to avoid his former area of strength and establish a new image - which was far harder than establishing a first image .
Al Gore , the aspiring successor , had been cheerleader and defender of someone else's agenda for eight years .His challenge was to convince people he was not responsible for the failures and compromises of the last eight years and claim some credit for the successes .
CHALLENGERS : THE SEARCH FOR AN EXPERIENCED VIRGIN
An ideal challenger must be known as someone with the skills to resolve the current crisis and who excels personally in the areas where the incumbent falls short .
Believing is Seeing
The ideal challenger is an experienced virgin .Stendahl , whose pioneering nineteenth-century novels were among the first that combined realism and psychology , noted that in love , ' Realities model themselves enthusiastically on one's desires " As with passion of new love , the initial passion an exciting challenger inspires is a mixture of " revived memories , oold fantasies and perennial needs ".
Presidents are judged partly by results and partly by their vision for the country .
When politicians battle over the details of policy , the charges and countercharges blur into cacophony and the policy debates look like mudslinging . There are no white suits in a mud fight . Only the outsider can get away with wearing a white suit , because only such a challenger can appear above the political battling and remain pure in the eyes of the voters .
Hope and Change
When an unknown , youthful challenger to the established party leaders wins the all-important caucus in Iowa , she uses her victory speech to interest others in joining the growing movement against the " older order ."
A typical upstart speech , for example , credits the movement , not the candidate .
There is an existentialist dilemma at the core of democracy : the " hope and change " candidates who can follow a script like Cadell's are often more appealing than candidates who offer more experience but less uplifting rhetoric . Successful compromises , solid accomplishments , and experience are seldom as exciting as ideals and visions of uncompromised successes . The newcomers , however , have to show that they are more than a pretty face and that they have the substance to defend their ideals . They have to show that they are both fresh and able to stand up to the enemies of progress .
On the road to winning their party's nomination and going on to the general election , candidates have to decide how they want to positioning themselves : which issues and personal traits will they emphasize , and which voters will they target .
The traits and policies that show a candidate to best advantage depend upon the other candidates .
Talk is cheap ; a candidate can only make credible claims to being a different kind of Republican or Democrat by picking the right fights and showing that they care enough about a principle to do more than talk .
Candidates start out thinking they are important , admire , and deserving because accomplishments in their last position , or because they are ahead in polls , or an acclaimed hero . While they are on the pedestal , voters look at candidates in terms of how much they deserve an honor or how likable they are . Admiring and liking someone for his past accomplishments is different from preferring him for the next job .
Put anyone in a pedestal and she is evaluated against the viewer's subjective standards , particularly personal traits and feelings related to likeability . Put that person next to someone else and the viewer will choose between the two people using different standards . A choice and an evaluation are particularly different when a candidate has a personal negatives and policy positives . In a lineup of candidates , the policy differences dominate ; on a pedestal , the personal strengths - or flaws - are magnified .
All candidates are parochial , and so are their teams and organizations from their last campaign . So they have to convince the voters that they are not out of touch with their problems .
Positioning includes deciding if and when an old stand must be revised to rectify past errors , or to explain discrepancies between what was practiced then and what is being preached now .Politicians do that , after all , on far large issues .
The candidates inevitably must reposition themselves because they have misjudge voters' concerns or opinions over their party , or they miscalculated their rivals and are offering the wrong policies for the voters they need to persuade .
The Right Enemies
Nothing makes a candidate look more heroic than choosing the right enemy .
Enemies clarify what a candidate stand for - " My enemy's enemies are my friends " - and provide a way for voters to assess the candidate's courage and willingness to fight for others , not just for profit .
While many people believe they would be a great presidents , few are willing to make the sacrifices and spend the thousands of hours it takes a challenger to get there . No matter what assets a candidate begins with - hopeful rhetoric , concrete experience , financial backing , endorsements , a respected brand name - there will always be the new terrain , new media , followers . and money are just the entry tickets . No one wins who cannot adjust strategy and stay on course .