Obama’s Keen Sense of Timing

David Brooks — whom I usually loathe — has a funny and accurate and withering column tonight that looks at the legion of "sky is falling" Democrats who've come out of the woodwork to whine just because the polls have shifted around a few points.

His two main points:

1. That walk around the convention floor and he'll hear no shortage of advice from the "pros" about what Obama should do, much of it contradictory. "The words fly, the quotes are given, campaign aides are pulled aside," Brooks writes.
"It’s like a Greatest Misses compilation of every Democratic campaign
idea ever conceived."

2. And this:

"Of course, the Obama campaign has been here before. Just about a year
ago, Obama was stagnant in the polls. His supporters were nervous and
full of advice. And in the crowning moment of his whole race, Obama
shut them out. He turned his back on the universe of geniuses and
stayed true to his core identity."

I was closely following the campaign last summer, watched every debate, and was already a strong supporter of Obama.  And boy do I remember the hand-wringing by so many Obama partisans. Yet Obama held true.

I'd add this one, maybe more important, point to Brook's argument: that Obama has a keen sense of timing. He was masterful last Fall, as he carefully timed and calibrated his increase in intensity to peak just before the Iowa caucus. He clearly knew he needed to avoid flaming out too early, waited to amp up his campaign just before the caucus.

There is some virtue in keeping your powder dry — even when the battle is getting intense, and many around you are losing their nerve.