Influence Strategy: The Plays That Delivered The Donald

November 9, 2016

With gratitude to the terrific team at SiriusXM POTUS, our coverage of the plays for the 2016 presidency began 26 months ago, Aug. 27, 2014 with Joe Biden drafting his boss, Jeb Bush running coy deflects, Chris Christie finessing the Bridgegate label, Hillary Clinton booking prime-time preenings, Ted Cruz holding a crouch-to-pounce position, Rand Paul lofting trial balloons, and Rick Perry running crazy ivans on a state prosecutor.

By way of subtle pings, Martin O’Malley, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio and Elizabeth Warren were mere saplings in the garden of two dozen presidential hopefuls. And, yet, the two whom history will recognize as the leaders of real movements, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, were still in their shells, presumably weighing their worth with the people who might follow them.Slide1

How Hillary Clinton snuffed out Sanders and how Trump then shellacked Hillary, among other rhetorical skirmishes, is a showcase to the essential discipline I call influence strategy, the lesser-understood half of the strategy pie that describes in specific units the moves and countermoves beneath our motives and means of influence. Whether in stump speeches, late-night tweets, late-night skits, debates or through dueling surrogates, what we witnessed was two full years of calculated moves — some cunning, some less-so — by relative masters of rhetoric and the 24 plays of the Taxonomy of Influence Plays.

Now, with Trump’s stunning victory, the most pregnant question is, How did he do it? And if influence strategy is the essential discipline of politics, What plays did he run? With what effect and consequences? Below is a selection of posts that shed light on the methods and madness that guided the billionaire to the White House.

June 18, 2015  Hillary’s Peacock, Jeb’s Crowd and Donald’s Trump

July 21, 2015  The Plays to Counter The Donald

Aug. 20, 2015  Succumbing to Trumpism.  It’s Just Business.

Oct. 20, 2015  How Donald Put Jeb into Checkmate: Beware the Dreaded Zugzwang

Nov. 30, 2015  How to Beat The Donald: Encourage Him

Jan. 21, 2016  Rx for Trump Haters: Help Him

March 10, 2016  It’s Counter-Intuitive: Four Plays to Stop The Donald

April 27, 2016  Trump Wants Hillary to Be a Man. And She’s Taking the Bait

May 11, 2016  Trump v. Ryan: Observations and Predictions

May 16, 2016  Surrogate Stunts: What Evel Knievel and Donald Trump Have in Common

May 26, 2016  The Great Sorting: Slytherin Problems in the GOP

Aug. 1, 2016 Why Trump is Toast: He Won’t Dance the Disco

Aug. 11, 2016  Stolen Play: Trump and Temperament

Sept. 1, 2016  Tick-Tock Trump: Four Plays in Four Days

Sept. 13, 2106  Basket Case: How Trump Beat Hillary’s Deplorable Attack

Sept. 28, 2016  Bait and Wait: How Hillary Trapped a Strategy-Free Trump

Oct. 29, 2016  Final Debate: How Hillary Beat The Donald, and The Donald Beat Himself

Nov. 2, 2016  Plays and Politics: Explaining Hillary’s Defeat

You run plays. Plays are run on you. And, for better or worse, the new master of this art and science is our new president. Strap in, the midterms are just around the corner!

Post by Alan Kelly

Graphics courtesy of Playmaker Systems, LLC