Gambits & Leverage

January 26, 2024

The aftermath of the New Hampshire primary provides a valuable lesson in issues management. The gambit is a bold move in issues management because you ether win or lose – no middle ground. The reason for taking a high level risk is to gain an advantage in the form of leverage. Nikki Haley not dropping out is a good example of a gambit.

  1. She could have folded her hand, which all of the pundits expected her to do, and suspended her campaign with little or no leverage, albeit live to fight another day.
  2. She chose to fight on putting her political future at risk but giving herself a slight chance of gaining leverage and winning in the end. This is the risk/reward of a gambit.
  3. If she can keep generating contributions, and if she can continue to beat Trump with Independent and never-Trump voters with a respectable percentage of the vote, then she MAY have the leverage to cut a deal for the vice presidency with a robust portfolio of responsibility thereby positioning herself to be president in 2028 – provided Trump wins in 2024.
  4. In issues management there are times to consider a gambit in order to gain more leverage and get more of what you want, but remember there are great risks involved. A gambit could be firing a member of your team or pursuing a high risk strategy. Be careful.