5 Rules for Insurgent Candidates

Inspired by a conversation in the office about James Carville, and with just 16 days from tonight’s debate to Election Day, we offer this quick hit cheat sheet for winning short-term, time-limited ‘insurgent’ political campaigns.

Some strategies are tried and tested. They repeat themselves. They give you the best shot at winning no matter which space of the political spectrum you champion.

Rule 1. Frame, create or exaggerate a sense of crisis.

For more on this see Our Brand is Crisis.

“You set up the Bolivian nation at a point of crisis without a crossroads…there-in lies the conflict.”-James Carville, Our Brand is Crisis.

Rule 2. Use Carville’s haiku from The War Room, acclaimed documentary “of the Bill Clinton 1992 presidential campaign and the organization who ran it,” as your core message.

Change in direction

The economy, stupid

Don’t forget (health)care

Rule 3. Don’t skimp on the ground game. Expand the electorate and change the map.

Rule 4. Define your opponent’s strength as their greatest weakness.

Rule 5. Answer every attack and punish every mistake.

Congratulations, you are now a political strategist. Who knows where it can take you.

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