Name That Play! From Hillary's Hell to Donald's Delay

Listen to this companion podcast on SiriusXM POTUS 124.

So you think you're a wonk? A political junkie? Here are ten questions to test your strategic genius and 2016 election acumen. Every choice, drawn from The Standard Table of Influence, has an element of truth, but one is closer than the others. Answers are listed in the key below.


1. MADELEINE'S MEME What play was former Secy. of State Madeleine Albright running when, during her introduction of the campaigning Hillary Clinton, she lectured, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other."

A. Fiat, to say it, sans spin

B. Ping, to hint and hide

C. Call Out, to chide or deride

2. HILLARY'S HELL What play was Hillary Clinton running when she defended Albright, her long-time friend and surrogate: "Well, look I think that she's been saying that for as long as I've known her. We have to empower everyone, women and men, to make the best decisions they can make."

A. Deflect, to dodge a point

B. Filter, to edit and omit

C. Recast, to reorder and restate

3. MAJORITY MATTERS What play was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell running when, one hour after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's announced death, he announced, "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

A. Fiat, to say it, sans spin

B. Challenge, to call for change

C. Trump, to steal the thunder

4. READ THIS What play was Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy running when on CNN he held up a pocket-size copy of the U.S. Constitution and said, "This is the playbook we should follow--the constitution of The United States."

A. Call Out, to chide and deride

B. Bait, to taunt and trap

C. Screen, to play with a prop

5. DONALD'S DELAY Referring to an impending SCOTUS nomination, what play was Donald Trump encouraging senate republicans to run when he said, "Delay, delay, delay."

A. Jam, to gum up the works

B. Fiat, to say it, sans spin

C. Challenge, to call for change

6. TRUMPERTANTRUM What play was Donald Trump running when this week at his news conference he repeatedly called rival Sen. Ted Cruz a liar?

A. Call Out, to chide or deride

B. Bait, to taunt and trap

C. Label, to make something stick

7. RATTLESNAKE What play was Ted Cruz running when, in response to Donald Trump's liar label, he countered, "This is the most rattled I've ever seen Donald."

A. Recast, to reorder and restate

B. Deflect, to dodge a point

C. Red Herring, to send off course

8. BUSHWHACKED While campaigning for his brother, Jeb, what play was former president George W. Bush running when he said, "Americans are angry and frustrated, but we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our frustration. In my experience, the loudest person in the room is not always the strongest person in the room."

A. Ping, to hint and hide

B. Crazy Ivan, to rush a rival

C. Challenge, to call for change

9. FAMILY TIME George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are surrogates to their respective brother and spouse. But what kind of surrogate?

A. Partner, a co-equal

B. Proxy, a hired gun

C. Plant, a secret ally

10. KISSING THE RING And speaking of surrogates, what play was Bernie Sanders running when he met Rev. Al Sharpton for breakfast?

A. Bear Hug, to agree overtly

B. Crowd, to copy and catch up

C. Screen, to play with a prop

Answer key: 1-B, 2-A, 3-C, 4-C, 5-A, 6-C, 7-A, 8-B, 9-A, 10-C


This is the latest installment in my Plays for the Presidency blog and YouTube podcast on SiriusXM POTUS, a weekly analysis of the moves and countermoves of the 2016 U.S. presidential hopefuls.