Reagan, it is theorized, understood this by virtue of his past career as an actor. In that capacity, his role was to memorize the script, deliver the lines in compelling fashion, and look good. But he had to trust others to take care of details like writing the script, getting the lighting right, promoting the film, etc.
Unlike Reagan, few politicians are effective delegators. And, in some cases, there are good reasons for this. In small races, it’s often impossible to hire someone as competent or qualified as the candidate. Left with no other option, a local candidate will run the campaign himself, leading him to believe that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The trouble is, at some point you get to a point of diminishing returns. And then, at some point (and in some states, this might not happen until you run for president!), the model utterly collapses on you.
This is a problem that has been around as long as there have been candidates and campaign managers. In Richard Ben Cramer’s “What It Takes,” we are treated to this revelation about Bob Dole’s 1988 bid: ”You know,” Dole used to say, “I came to Congress, I answered every letter, answered it by hand. I was my own AA, my own Press Secretary, my own Advance man, my own office manager, my own political adviser. Funny thing: we kept winning.”