Politics is the art of getting someone to do what you want him to do by helping him understand why it’s in his interest to do so. Sometimes that appeal is based on shared interests; sometimes, on pure altruism; sometimes, on greed; sometimes, on fear. But in every case, the successful political appeal is an appeal to self-interest as defined and understood by the organization or individual whose support you seek.
Surely, in the history of the world’s politics, there is no finer practitioner of the art of politics than Francis Urquhart, the late Prime Minister of Britain.
What’s that, you say? There never has been a Prime Minister of Britain named Urquhart -- Francis or otherwise? You’re quite right, of course. We’re referring to the fictional lead character of House of Cards, a political satire about the post-Thatcher succession struggle inside Britain’s Conservative Party... Urquhart -- played to perfection by Ian Richardson -- schemes, dupes, cajoles, seduces, blackmails, extorts, and eventually even murders his way into No. 10 Downing Street in such an awe-inspiring display of cunning and ruthlessness that you find you can’t help but root for this most evil of men...