Strategy and Scandal: Obama and Blagojevich

Much of traditional strategy involves looking into the future and asking yourself about people's motivations and what they are likely to respond to your actions. Though people's responses cannot be predicted exactly, some responses are more likely than others. For Obama, political scandals like the political pedaling of Gov. Blagojevich are considered environmental attacks, equivalent to Sun Tzu's fire attacks. Given the rules of the media ground on which these scandals are played out, there is one clear rule for the person being drawn into the scandal: get out the complete information no matter how bad immediately, even if it involves offering a serious mea culpa and doing penance. The only alternative is to create a steady drip-drip-drip of information that, like blood in the water, creates a feeding frenzy among the media. If you are not the primary source of information for the media, you create a situation where every reporter in the world has an incentive to dig up something and every pundit can speculate on what is really happening. As long as there are new revelations to drive the news cycle, the scandal never dies.