Trump v. Ryan: Observations and Predictions

May 11, 2016

Much has been said, and much more will be reported, on the now 150-day-long feud between GOP presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, and the U.S. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. The study released today by Playmaker Systems, Trump Versus Ryan, offers a unique illustration of select influence strategies (aka, plays) that each has employed to bring the other to a political heel.Trump v Ryan Cover v1.1

Believed to have commenced when Trump made his infamous Dec. 7, 2016 pledge to ban incoming Muslims, this signature Playmaker analysis features 11 stratagems from The Standard Table of Influence. Below are observations and predictions from the report.


  • BLUSTER BUST  By all appearances, it was Donald Trump’s December 7th proclamation to ban foreign Muslims that sparked his feud with Paul Ryan. Trump’s influence strategy, the no-spin Fiat, was classic bombast by the billionaire candidate.
  • CAUTIOUS COUNTER  To curb Trump’s off-brandGOP rhetoric, Ryan countered with suggestive and cautious Recasts and Pings.
  • HOOSIER HAUL  Trump was initially indulgent of Ryan’s public lectures but gained an offensive footing with his Indiana primary win.
  • SURE SURROGATES  While Trump made no overt demands for the GOP leadership’s support, his obvious wishes to eliminate anti-Trump factions and to foreclose the nomination process was granted by media. Ryan, in particular, was cornered, and asked to know if he would support Trump as the GOP nominee.Trump v Ryan Snapshot
  • FAUX FIGHTER  Ryan employed a unique combination of suggestive Pings and fatherly Challenges to hint of his desire for a moderated Donald Trump. His syntax, however, was sufficiently soft that he appeared to leave himself room to yield.
  • BLUFF CALLED  Trump’s swift counter mimicked a Call Out of the speaker’s likely bluff but was classified as a Jam for its more obvious intention to freeze Ryan’s coy, I’m-not-there-right-now, spin.
  • JUST SAYIN  By way of Recast and Filter strategies, Trump kept on the offensive, using interviews to reframe Ryan.
  • RECOVERY JOB  By way of a salvaging strategy, the Disco, Ryan volunteered to give up his GOP convention chair. The play appears to have preempted media speculation of the speaker’s losing hand.


  • OPEN OPTIONS  As Trump v. Ryan converges on a much-anticipated May 12th meeting, Ryan has created the space for tough talk and guy talk, both; he’ll have toed the line for GOP tradition and started a friendship in a single sitting. Ryan’s plays will be rooted in framing strategies, notably the Screen to showcase his personal convictions and political conservatism.
  • WALK OFF WINNER  Trump has options, too, though less for the plays he’s run in this feud and more for his delegate count. Accordingly, he can be expected to grind the gears of the speaker’s bus when grease might be better. Look for the real estate mogul to break bread with the speaker in private and publicly put a thumb on a demure Paul Ryan. Trump’s play will be to Pass – a quiet exit to signal disgust if Ryan takes a hard line – or a kingly Fiat to claim a new accord if he doesn’t.

The study can be downloaded free here.

Post by Alan Kelly

Graphics courtesy of Playmaker Systems, LLC