1. Know your mutual enemy, and repeat his catchphrase: Sun Rudd says the people of Australia need to have “trust and confidence” in their prime minister. Tony Abbott’s repeatedly said something remarkably similar. It pays to leverage the vitriol of existing attacks.
2. Bring the weapons of your house to the battlefield: Or, in Rudd’s case, get your family involved. Have them express their “pride” and their “love and support”, preferably on Twitter, or in front of the press pack. Make sure they cast you as the ultimate martyr, sacrificing yourself for the good of the country.
3. Attack when the enemy is ill prepared, and appear where you’re not expected: Indeed, appear a good four times before officially entering the battle, using each occasion to grab the limelight, boast your policy credentials and lay the foundations for your upcoming, all-out assault.
4. Stand for the virtues of wisdom and courage: Think big, just like Rudd did with his promise to “save Australia”. There’s an international crisis approaching, a Tony Abbott government on the horizon and “faceless men” still looking to tear down a leader elected by the people. And Rudd’s brave enough to stand for what’s right.
5. He who appears as a soldier for the people will earn their respect: “Do you hear the caucus sing?” No? Then appeal for a chorus of people power. Get them on the phones, have them break down the barricades at the offices of their local MPs. Again, get your family involved (see tactic 2).
6. Keep the battle foundations simple, and number your plans: The number “five” is particularly helpful. Stalin had his “Five Year Plan”; Rudd’s deployed his “Five Big Policy Priorities”.
7. Time your offensives effectively: Rudd launched his initial assault at 1.30am in Washington, just before the evening news on Wednesday and, just when the enemy thought he’d gone quiet while in transit, launched a second assault prior to boarding a flight back to Sydney.
8. Feign your weaknesses, by being self-deprecating: Fun terms like “I’m not captain perfect” help.
9. Never seek to win by attrition, but still exhaust the enemy’s key people: Up against a 9.30am press conference? Schedule one for 9am. Tire out the speechwriters and advisers, keep them constantly on the back foot re-strategising, re-writing, re-thinking why they signed-up for this whole debacle in the first place.
10. And should you suffer a setback, retreat far from the frontline to plan the next offensive: Rudd will be heading to the backbench following Monday’s leadership challenge. It’s important to regroup –before he puts us through it all again.