While I believe it to be entirely possible for John and Sarah to win on November 4, it won't be easy. Despite the massive infusion of energy and enthusiasm into the John McCain campaign upon his brilliant decision to pick Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, there will be much work to do. And yes, to win, our side will actually have to break a sweat.
There seems to be no doubt in my mind that the other side would seem to be winning in the way of quantities of "supporters". That of course, would be what the main stream media wants us to believe. However, there is a big difference between those that say they support the Democrat candidate, and the actual number of people that will vote, let alone, take an active role in promoting their candidate. That alone will tend to negate the results of many polls.
For the Obama camp, they seemed to have all of the energy early in the process of the primaries and caucuses, and it was necessary to defeat Hillary Clinton. Whereas in John McCain's campaign, the energy did not arrive until he picked Sarah Palin for the other half of the GOP ticket.
It was while reflecting on the campaigns, and all of the work that is done to get them set up, that I had the revelation that the energy of the campaign would be directly related to the quantity and quality of the work involved in a political campaign. And while you may be thinking that it all comes down to how good the candidates do, and how well their campaign staff does their job, it is much more than that. It will be much more than the debates or ads or sound bites or news interviews. What I found out is how much goes on at "ground level" - the grass roots - and how it may make all the difference in the end.
When I went to the "Road to Victory '08" McCain-Palin rally in Cedar Rapids a couple days ago, I saw an extraordinary example of what it took to get everything done. From the people that had to get the venue set up, security arranged (including the help of the TSA), down to the volunteers that helped with parking, and arranging the vendors for shuttle transportation and everything else, it amounted to an enormous effort from many people.
Yes, just having this one rally here in Cedar Rapids took a lot of effort. And to think, they are doing this stuff every day! That takes a massive amount of work to be able to manage all the logistics and services needed to pull off these campaign events. The effort is directly related to the passion derived from the candidate's ability to motivate their troops.
What brought me to understand the huge amount of effort by so many people was when I went on a mission to cover this event in this blog, with video included. Not to mention the technical difficulties with software in order to produce a video from the rally, I also went through some great physical adversities, such as standing for more than three hours, holding a camera above my head to take pictures and videos, walking a couple miles back to my car, a good sunburn on my scalp during that walk, etc. etc., it was hard work. I gained a lot of respect for my fellow columnists, journalists, bloggers; people that cover these things on a daily basis.
As an example, let me tell you, I spent a few days just to put this one video together:
In getting a blog and a video about the rally produced, I had many challenges. It took me three days since the rally. But yet, there are people that can get it all done in .... what, about three hours? Three minutes? Of course, in my case, it's just me trying to put all of this together this weekend. Other news distribution outlets have hundreds, if not thousands, of people involved. And then, I've seen individual bloggers that have the equipment needed (like a laptop with a wireless internet connection), and can actually get out their blogs and photos in must minutes, even while at the event; almost in real-time.
While I digress, you may be asking yourself what it has to do with this election, with the McCain-Palin rally I went out to cover on Thursday. I had to ask myself that, so don't feel bad, but I have the answer. I now know, or at least understand, the amount of effort it takes - whether it is in arranging a political rally, or just being one of the bloggers out here. And the key word is, "EFFORT".
The key to Victory in '08 for either side of the aisle, or anyone else that is in the fray, will depend on effort. And that vital ingredient - "EFFORT" - is totally dependent on the amount of energy that the campaigns can generate. Whether it is the candidate, their campaign managers, local volunteers, or even the bloggers such as myself here in Iowa, when you come right down to it, the whole process rests on which side is the most energized. That is going to be the only way to get uphill on the road to victory.