The contrarian's view of winning at office politics.
Rule 1: Make friends and shape that into a network. You need them to help you win the war. No individual can beat the whole system. (S)He with the most friends win - no matter what stunt the other person pulls.
Rule 2: Make friends by GIVING and sharing and helping without an expectation of anything in return. (A paradox, I know, but that is how you do it.) You may be cynical about this, but your connections are what keep you 'connected' to the system - to state the bleeding obvious.
Rule 3: Good defense will win the day. Office politics is not about being able to trample allover someone else, but more importantly it is about protecting your own turf. This is often a cliched football analogy, but it is really true: good defense wins the game.
And for fun guide to OFFICE POLITICS - check this out.