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Conservative Options: Christian Jihad? Or Civil Disobedience?

Alan Kelly | Posted 07.01.2015 | Religion
Alan Kelly

The sentiments of the GOP hopefuls are deeply brooding, even desperate, and Democrat candidates will be forced to take them seriously. The question remains, then, what plays will they employ to counter the cries for religious justice.

How Mitt Romney and Retailers Dismantled Dixie

Alan Kelly | Posted 06.30.2015 | Politics
Alan Kelly

When the disillusioned 21-year-old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black worshipers at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, the tragedy quickly focused on the legacy of the Confederate flag and its tacit endorsement of racism. For presidential candidates courting southern conservatives, this called for high-wire political acts.

Dodging Bullets: Plays They're Running in Charleston

Alan Kelly | Posted 06.23.2015 | Politics
Alan Kelly

In the wake of the Charleston shootings, The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes of a culture of evasion. He might not know it, but he's describing the discipline I call Influence Strategy and some of the 24 plays that comprise it. Consider two examples from the progressive columnist:

Strategies Behind Slogans Betray the Politics

Alan Kelly | Posted 06.12.2015 | Politics
Alan Kelly

While Jeb Bush dithers, there's much to be said about his opponents' slogans. What's escaped the white gloves of so many branding gurus is an analysis of the influence plays that support them. They tell a deeper story of the candidate's intentions and interests.

Politics as Performance: From Obama's Luther to Huckabee's Christ

Alan Kelly | Posted 05.15.2015 | Comedy
Alan Kelly

As the White House Correspondents' Dinner reliably demonstrates, performance is the new politics. By tapping comedy, drama and other forms of storytelling influencers can access strategies they'd normally never employ.

Influence Abuse: Trust, Truth and Games of Gotcha

Alan Kelly | Posted 04.28.2015 | Media
Alan Kelly

Is it time for the spin police?  Sitting in the theaters of entertainment, politics and business, one wonders if practitioners of influence are abusing their tradecraft and the trust of their markets.  One wonders then if they'll self-correct or be market-corrected.

Women Be Damned: Of Politics and the Plays They Run

Alan Kelly | Posted 12.17.2014 | Politics
Alan Kelly

Can women in politics run the same plays as men? For Alison Lundergan Grimes and Wendy Davis, one wonders if the system and society will let them run any at all?

Plays That Sound the Sirens: Of Human, Global and Political Tolls

Alan Kelly | Posted 04.21.2014 | Politics
Alan Kelly

This week bore witness to a variety of global crises, some brewing, others resolved. Even so, their urgency was punctuated by heavy-hitting players and high-friction plays.