The Atlantic covers a talk in which Karl Rove uses an apt metaphor for non-coordination coordination:
"At Crossroads, we watched for three weeks while they assaulted Bain. And you can't talk to the campaigns directly. You can't coordinate with to them. But you can play bridge. So after about three weeks we said we think this is hurting, so why don't we signal to them."
So Rove's American Crossroads Super PAC went out and ran $9.3 million worth of ads in July 2012 in 14 battleground states fighting back against the Obama campaign attacks, using a Washington Post editorial that said they were overblown.
"We were trying to signal to the Romney campaign, if you want to engage on this, you lead, we'll follow. Now they can't talk to us, but they can talk to the press. And the press immediately would call us up and say, we just talked to the Romney campaign about your ad and they say first of all, the issue's not hurting us and B, in politics, if you're responding, you're losing. Well, a lot of times in politics if you're responding you're winning," Rove continued.Here is a web page about the use of signals in bridge:
"We decided wrongly that they were right and so we didn't proceed. And we should have."
RULE 1: DO NOT OVERUSE SIGNALS. PERHAPS ONE SIGNAL PER PARTNERSHIP PER HAND SHOULD BE THE GENERAL RULE
RULE 2: DO NOT OVER-RELY ON SIGNALS. Your partner is NOT ALL KNOWING. Never let a signal interfere with YOUR OWN GOOD ANALYSIS AND JUDGMENT. Most bridge players fall in love with signals and they overuse them. DO NOT BE ONE OF THESE PEOPLE.