Tactics Gone Wrong

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Is any advantage a good one in all circumstances?  In my mind the unequivocal answer to this question is NO!  Politics can be a rough game. Between opposition research, calling in of favors, and/or legal maneuvering, campaigns have opportunities to get a serious leg up or end another campaign entirely.  What some consultants, campaigns, and political parties lose sight of are the long term consequences of a short term gain.

When should a quick tactical move for advantage not be taken?

#1 If accomplishing your immediate goal destroys your overall messaging.

#2 If your tactical gain creates too much negative attention

#3 If your attempt at a tactical advantage has a reasonable chance of failing. (The worst of all outcomes)

Sometimes, winning the “hard way” is the best path.  Being wise about when and where is the job of a good consultant.

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What color and size is your chessboard?

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It has come to my attention that many times, people attempt to deliver campaign strategy and consult in a “One Size Fits All” manner.  Usually relying on a past victory or two, the attempt is made to carbon copy such a result.  Alternatively, some give advice that amounts to General U.S. Grant’s offensive in the late US Civil War. (Build up 5 to 1 odds and charge!)

The fact is nearly no campaign is the same as the next.  Political campaigns have too many variables to take into account to create a “One Size Fits All” campaign, and few consultants get the luxury of a campaign with near limitless funding.

As a result, the smart consultant looks not only the specific campaign at hand and the specific opponents, but the nature of the political state in the surrounding area, the statewide trends, and the macro national trends. All of these things color the “chessboard” upon which your clients will move.

Without determining the size and color of your chessboard, you may find terrible inefficiencies creeping into the structure of your campaign.