House of Cards Strategic Analysis

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Francis "Frank" Underwood is an ambitious Democratic congressman from South Carolina and the House Majority Whip. Frank helped ensure the election of President Garrett Walker, who promised to appoint Frank as Secretary of State. Frank believes that the give and take mentality of Washington D.C.’s politicians will finally pay off for him and that he is soon to receive a reward for his faithful service to Walker. However, before Walker is sworn in, Walker’s Chief of Staff announces that Walker will not honor the agreement and will instead nominate Senator Michael Kern. Frank is then told that the White House wants him to continue helping their administration from within the House of Representatives, starting with working on an education reform bill.

Furious at Walker's betrayal, Frank and his wife Claire, an environmental activist, make a pact to destroy Walker, starting with Kern. Frank starts seeking out pawns in his war against Walker. When the troubled Representative Peter Russo is arrested for drunk driving, Frank offers him a reprieve in exchange for his loyalty, covering up the incident by bribing the commissioner with funds for his political ambitions. Frank also encounters Zoe Barnes, a young political reporter for the Washington Herald newspaper. The two come to an agreement where Frank will give Zoe inside information that will further Zoe's own stagnating career, and giving Frank a patsy to serve incriminating information to destroy his opponents. He starts by leaking a copy of the first draft of Donald’s (a key figure in educational politics) education bill that proposes massive increases in government control of education, promptly causing a scandal one day after the inauguration.

In the aftermath of th...

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...nt suddenly sends him to evaluate Raymond Tusk, a multi-billionaire who lives modestly in St. Louis. But after staying with him, Frank eventually discovers deeper connections between Tusk and the President and learns that he is the one being vetted. Tusk offers to support him in return for an unspecified favor — but Frank refuses. Meanwhile Janine and Zoe's persistence starts to pay off as they begin to see through the conspiracy regarding Frank and Russo.

Frank meets again with Tusk and reaches an accommodation; the President offers him the VP post and he accepts. Claire learns that Gillian is suing her for wrongful termination and refusing any settlement. She also consults a doctor about possible fertility treatments. Claire fires Gillian. Meanwhile, Zoe, Lucas, and Janine learn Rachel's identity and begin to put together more of the pieces of Frank's plots.
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