I Help Smart, Passionate Candidates Win Elections and Make a Difference.

Call (845)458-1210

There is one constant in the human existence. Everybody who has ever been born has said or done something they’d like to forget. And there is something that is constant in political combat. Every stupid thing that a candidate has said or done somehow surfaces during a political campaign.

 

Hoping that your past mistakes won’t surface is futile. And if you don’t put it out on your terms at the outset of a campaign it is often fatal. Why? Because if you don’t your opponent will. And your opponent won’t be near as charitable about the ugly in your past as you will. And if the ugly in your past is news to the press, your friends will be reading about your ugly in the newspaper.

 

Today, I’ll share with you some lessons and methods that have worked well for those who had to come clean about their past.

Running for Office? Fixing Stupid Things You Once Did or Said

Running for Office? Fixing Stupid Things You Once Did or Said

Rule 1. Do it early in the campaign. Either with a reporter, in a TV ad, or in a mail piece. In 1980, Bill Clinton was the youngest ex-Governor in the United States, having made some mistakes in his first term that proved fatal. He began his 1982 comeback bid with an ad that was an apology—we called it his mea culpa—in which he acknowledged that he had made errors in judgment during his first term—admitted that he had not listened well…and looking the camera in the eye…said he had learned his lesson would never again raise car tag fees. It worked. You know the rest of the story.

Rule 2. Be absolutely sincere, candid and truthful about the mistake. I once had a client who’d gone though a very messy divorce. And the material in the divorce decree was an incriminating mess. I had him meet with an influential reporter before he announced his candidacy. He gave the reporter a copy of his divorce decree, freely admitted that he’d cheated on his spouse, admitted that the whole sordid affair was entirely his fault, and as a result of learning from the mistake had had a successful second marriage and raised three children. When his opponent later sent the divorce decree to the reporter and suggested he do a story, the reporter said he’d already seen it and regarded it as old news.

Rule 3. Emphasize the good that came of your misfortune. A client of mine who was a contractor had once declared bankruptcy. The circumstances were this. He was building an expensive home. The owner fell behind on the payments. Rather than layoff his workers and walk away from a job half done, he continued doing the work until the house was in a weather ready condition. He was eventually forced to declare bankruptcy until as his successful lawsuit against the owner wound its way through the court system. The reporter wrote an article about it, and did such a good job putting our spin on the story that it never became an issue in the campaign.

These are just a few examples of how a candidate preempted bad stories about their mistakes and misfortune. Telling the press or the public about the stupid in your past does not guarantee a trouble free campaign. But is does improve your chances of having your side of the story in any article that is written, and if your strategy is well thought and well executed, it may not come up at all. I can also promise this—if you don’t explain up front something that could be fatal to your campaign, chances are it will be fatal.

 

Have something in your past that is holding you back from public service? Not sure how to handle it? I’ve helped dozens of candidates overcome past mistakes and go on to win elections, including one who overcame a fatal drunk driving accident and was elected a Judge.

I may also be able to help you. If you’d like to talk, call me at 845-458-1210. Or email me at Jay@JayTownsend.com. It will not be a sales pitch—simply an opportunity for you to talk about your situation and a chance for me to share some ideas on what you can do.

 

More videos on the art of running for office and how to win an election:

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

To learn how to win an election, or the art of running for office, visit JayTownsend.com

To receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend, visit http://jaytownsend.com/yours-free-the-10-worst-mistakes-candidates-make

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Get Your Free Copy of My Book: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Candidates Make. Enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.

 

 

The first rule of preparing for an interview with a reporter. No candidate, and no staff person in a campaign should ever talk to a newspaper reporter without first doing their homework.

 

In this day and age, when Google searches are easy and quickly done, there is no excuse for not knowing the reporter you are talking to and the kind of questions you are likely to get. Not just their background, or schools they attended…read the stories they have written in the past so that you are familiar with their writing style, investigative methods and their area of expertise.

Running for Office? Preparing for an Interview with a Reporter by Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Running for Office? Preparing for an Interview with a Reporter

Closely examine how they have handled a contentious interview. Google the names of candidates they interviewed to see if there were complaints about the professionalism of the reporter. Were there complaints about the accuracy of quotes? Did the reporter honor rules like ‘off the record,’ or ‘on background?’

Is the reporter the kind that does thorough investigative journalism or one who is usually willing to take a quote and file their story? When a campaign they are covering issues a press release, are they the kind of reporter who offers the opposing camp a chance to respond?

Look for people they frequently quote in their stories, otherwise known as sources. Preparing for an interview with a reporter is also knowing who they rely on to understand the subject they are writing about, and who they turn to reinforce their own point of view.

If you have time, talk to other candidates the reporter has interviewed and get their take on the professionalism of the journalist and the accuracy of their reporting.

Know the purpose of the interview and how much time the reporter needs. For example, if the reporter is asking for an hour long sit down interview, then you can expect that you’ll be asked a wide array of questions and that any answer you give may be challenged in follow-up questions. If the time requested is short and the topic specific, then make sure you have your facts and homework together about the topic in question.

Be mindful that they have deadlines, and lives outside of their profession. You are more likely to be given the chance to respond to an allegation if you take the reporter’s deadline seriously.

Avoid the ‘no comment’ response. To the reader, a candidate who says no comment in response to an allegation is guilty as charged. Never ever lie to a reporter. If you do, it will destroy your credibility and it will come back to haunt you.

Have some questions about preparing for an interview with a reporter? Hit the comment button. If you send me a question I will answer. And if I can help you in any way with an upcoming interview, call me at 845-458-1210.

More videos on the art of running for office and how to win an election:

Running for Office? TV Interview Tips I: The Pre-Interview Phase.

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips II: The Day Before

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips III: Body Language

Running For Office? Talk Radio Interview Tips

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

To learn how to win an election, or the art of running for office, visit JayTownsend.com

To receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend, visit http://jaytownsend.com/yours-free-the-10-worst-mistakes-candidates-make

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Get Your Free Copy of My Book: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Candidates Make. Enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.

 

 

If you are running for public office, proper preparation for a talk radio interview is the difference between advancing your cause and creating a campaign disaster.

Today, I’ll share a few simple steps about how to prepare for a talk radio interview.

 

1. Know how much time you will have. A five minute segment will limit the number of opportunities you have to convey your central points. A 20 minute interview will allow time for 3 or 4 stories to illustrate your point.

2. Decide what points you want to get across during the talk radio interview, and drive them home at the outset. Why? If you go into an interview with no idea what you want to say the host may steer it to a topic that doesn’t get you any votes.

3. Use the questions you are asked as an opportunity to quickly pivot off a short answer and circle back to your principle talking points. Mention the name of your website every 90 seconds.

4. Study the style of your host. Listen to interviews they have conducted with other personalities. Do they let their guests talk absent interruption? Do they pepper the guest with questions? Do they allow the guest to control the talk radio interview or do they try to veer the topic to something the host wants to discuss?

Running for Office? Talk Radio Interview Tips by Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Running for Office? Talk Radio Interview Tips

5. The expectation is that you will be well informed. And you had better be able to quickly explain and defend your platform. If you are asked a question that you do not know, best to say you don’t know than to pretend you do. A factual error or mistake will quickly become news, and likely tweeted and blogged into the universe.

6. Know the rules of audience participation. Will all of the questions come from the host? Will listeners be allowed to call in and ask questions on the air? Will those who call be screened by a moderator? If people are allowed to call in line up a few friends and allies to participate in the program.

7. Are you doing the show in studio? If so, dress accordingly, for your interview may be videotaped and posted on YouTube.

8. If you are doing the talk radio interview over the phone, try to call from a hard line so that you have a good connection. If possible call the station 10 minutes before your interview begins so that you can listen to what is said before you go live.

Have some questions about talk radio interviews? Hit the comment button. If you send me a question I will answer. And if I can help you in any way with an upcoming interview, call me at 845-458-1210.

More videos on the art of running for office and how to win an election:

Running for Office? TV Interview Tips I: The Pre-Interview Phase.

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips II: The Day Before

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips III: Body Language

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

To learn how to win an election, or the art of running for office, visit JayTownsend.com

To receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend, visit http://jaytownsend.com/yours-free-the-10-worst-mistakes-candidates-make

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Get Your Free Copy of My Book: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Candidates Make. Enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.

 

 

In last week’s video I shared TV interview tips part II: What to do the day before and the day of the interview, how to dress, and quickly get the attention of the audience.

Today in TV interview Tips part III I talk about body language—how to ensure that the way you sit and gesture does not detract from your message, but instead enhances what you have to say.

 

We’ll start with the way you sit. Look at your host, not the TV camera. Cross your legs toward the host, not away from the host. To do otherwise makes you look rude.

Do not sit back in your chair. That makes you look disinterested. Lead forward toward the host. That makes you look engaged and interesting.

Running for Office? TV Interview Tips III: Body Language by Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Running for Office? TV Interview Tips III: Body Language

Do not point when making a point. That makes you look threatening. If you have a point to make hold your fingers together.

Gestures are great, but keep them close to your body. Avoid looking like you are having an argument. Better to gesture with your palms up.

Do not put your hands in front of your face. That is distracting. Keep your hands at or below chest level.

When you smile, smile with your eyes. It makes you more likeable.

Do not bounce your knee or twiddle with your fingers during the interview. That will make you look nervous and unsure of yourself. Audiences like confidence.

If you are asked an off-topic question, remember that it looks impolite, rude and evasive to completely disregard the question. Give a quick answer and spin it back to the topic you are there to discuss.

For example, if you are talking about immigration and your host asks about your position on Common Core, you might respond by saying that all children would receive a better educational opportunity if your immigration proposal became law, then specifically say how.

I hope you have enjoyed this series of videos on TV interview tips.

 

Have some questions about TV interview tips? Hit the comment button. If you send me a question, I will answer. And if I can help you in any way with an upcoming interview, call me at 845-458-1210.

 

More videos on the art of running for office and how to win an election:

Running for Office? TV Interview Tips I: The Pre-Interview Phase.

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips II: The Day Before

Candidate Training Instructional Videos to Win an Election

All Campaign Tips to Make You a Better Candidate When Running for Office

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

To learn how to win an election, or the art of running for office, visit JayTownsend.com

To receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend, visit http://jaytownsend.com/yours-free-the-10-worst-mistakes-candidates-make

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Get Your Free Copy of My Book: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Candidates Make. Enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.

 

 

In last week’s video I shared some TV interview tips: How to prepare for a TV interview…the pre-interview phase.

Today, in TV interview Tips part II, I’ll talk about what needs to be done the day before the interview.

 

Your interview will be better remembered if you have what I call a quotable quote—something pithy, easily remembered, easily tweetable… something that will give your interview a second life on social media.

One quote I remember from Milton Friedman that was quickly repeated…

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Make sure you check the daily newspapers the day before and the day of your interview. Look for something in the news that is relevant to your topic. It’s what we call a ‘news hook’. For example, if you are talking about railroad safety— you might say that had your proposal been the law of the land yesterday we would not be reading about the tragic death of three innocent children today.

If you can’t find a news hook, look for a fresh hook on how your message, your book, your program, your policy would improve the health, happiness or wealth of the listening audience, or a particular demographic group in the station’s listening audience.

The day before the interview pick the clothes you will wear so that you don’t have to worry about broken buttons or a soiled blouse the day of the interview. Do not wear clothes with complicated patterns or garish colors. TV doesn’t like them. White shirt/white blouse is ok, but don’t even think about wearing a white jacket. Do not wear expensive watches or gaudy jewelry. Audiences do not like ostentatious displays of wealth.

Arrive early for your interview, and allow plenty of time for makeup. Watch your attitude with the TV staff. It may be your only interview of the day, but to the TV staff you may be one of 80 people they are moving on and off the set that day. If you act like a prima donna you will not be invited back.

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips II: The Day Before by Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips II: The Day Before

Finally, some things to remember before the interview begins:

#1-The interviewer may or may not be prepared; may or may not have read your bio; may or may not have looked at your website; may or may not have glanced at your book, or be familiar with your policy position. It may fall to you to highlight the important elements of the aforementioned for the audience.

#2-You have 15 seconds after the interview begins to convince the audience that you are more important than going to the bathroom. If you waste the first 30 seconds on irrelevant chatter you will have already lost part of your audience.

#3-You are not required to give a long answer to every question. It is YOUR job to stay on topic and get back to your topic even if you are asked an off-topic question.

#4- If you are greeted with a hostile question…Keep Your Cool. Smile. Do not raise your voice. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER lose your temper.

 

Next time, I’ll have some TV interview tips on body language: How to sit, where to put your hands, how to look confident. And some TV interview tips on how you can stay on message even if the interviewer goes off course or off topic.

 

Have some questions about TV interview tips? Hit the comment button. If you send me a question I will answer.

 

More videos on the art of running for office and how to win an election:

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips Part I: The pre-interview phase.

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips Part III: Body Language

Candidate Training Instructional Videos to Win an Election

All Campaign Tips to Make You a Better Candidate When Running for Office

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

To learn how to win an election, or the art of running for office, visit JayTownsend.com

To receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend, visit http://jaytownsend.com/yours-free-the-10-worst-mistakes-candidates-make

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Get Your Free Copy of My Book: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Candidates Make. Enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.

 

 

Recently, I helped teach a symposium in New York City to people who want to become better at television interviews… a 3-day deep dive on TV interview tips… everything from how to dress, prepare, stay on topic, handle tough questions, and defend a controversial point of view.

 

Today, I share with you some of what they learned—part of a series on TV interview tips I’ll be sending you during the coming weeks. Why should you care? If you are a candidate running for office, a good television interview will advance your campaign. It could also destroy it if you are ill-prepared. Even if you are not a candidate, a TV interview is a priceless way to spread your message and advance your cause.

Today’s topic is the pre-interview preparation—TV interview tips about what you need to know before the interview:

Running for Office TV Interview Tips by Political Consultant Jay Townsend

#1. Decide the central point of what you want your audience to remember from your interview. If you are the author of a book, the audience needs to know the title, where to buy it, and what they will get out of it if they read it. If you are a candidate and the subject is immigration, the audience needs to know your point of view, why you believe it will advance the republic and three simple ways to make it happen.

#2. Make sure you know the setting of the interview. Will you be seated? Standing at a table? Closeted in a room by yourself while you are asked questions through an earpiece? Standing somewhere in a parking lot with a microphone in your face? How long will you be on the air? Is it live or taped?

#3. What is the format? Is it a one-on-one exchange with an interviewer? Or are you debating someone who will have a different point of view? Or, are you part of a panel where there will be a free exchange of opinions?

#4. Who is doing the interview? It is imperative to know this because you need to know their style, how they have conducted other interviews, the kinds of questions they usually ask, whether they interrupt their guests with questions or allow them to talk freely.

 

Why do you need to know these items before the interview? The same reason a football player needs to know the rules of the game before they walk on the field. You cannot properly prepare, and you will not be at your best if you don’t know the setting, the rules of engagement, the personalities and the way your host plays the game.

Next time I’ll have some TV interview tips on how to prepare once you know the rules— how to dress, anticipate difficult questions, how to comport yourself during the interview and some TV interview tips on body language.

 

Have some thoughts you’d like to share? Hit the comment button. If you send me a question I will answer.

More videos on the art of running for office and how to win an election:

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips II: The Day Before

Running For Office? TV Interview Tips III: Body language

How to do a Radio Interview when Running for Office.

What Determines Your Campaign Strategy to Win an Election.

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

To learn how to win an election, or the art of running for office, visit JayTownsend.com

To receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend, visit http://jaytownsend.com/yours-free-the-10-worst-mistakes-candidates-make

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Get Your Free Copy of My Book: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Candidates Make. Enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.

 

 

This past week brought us endless leaks about Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she is again running for office.

Sunday, I did a Google search on all the Hillary for President stories and it easily filled three pages on my computer. Not a single article was about why she wants the job or what she’ll do with the job if she gets it.

 

Instead the stories were about the ‘new’ Hillary. The ‘revamped’ Hillary. The ‘remade’ Hillary. The ‘reinvented’ Hillary. And Hillary’s ‘makeover.’

 

I was also treated to endless stories about her self-promoting political consultants who now oversee Hillary’s ‘makeover,’ her ’re-branding,’ her new ’media’ strategy, and those who devised the going ‘small,’ campaign, whatever that means.

Running for Office? Hillary Clinton and How Not to Announce Your Candidacy by Political Consultant Jay Townsend

The ‘New’ Hillary Clinton Running for Office

 

Blah, Blah, Blah.

Who cares about this stuff? Voters want to know why you are running for office, what you will do for them and how you are going to do it. Mrs. Clinton’s Sunday video did precious little to answer that question.

Message to those running for office. The more voters read about your re-branding makeover, the new you, the reinvented you, the revamped you, the more convinced they become that your campaign is all about you and not about them. Most people don’t like reading that they are mere pawns to be manipulated. And sending that message to voters does not make you endearing candidate.

A message of caution to the political consultants helping candidates running for office. Your job is to help the candidate. It is not to toot your own horn. If your candidate wins you’ll get plenty of credit, but until that day comes, do your job, do it well, do it quietly. And remember that self-promotion is not in your job description.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Just please keep it clean. If you have questions I will be happy to answer them.

More videos on the art of running for office and how to win an election:

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act Embarrassment and What Those Running for Office Can Learn.

Running for Office? Lessons from the Hillary Clinton Oops Conference.

A 5 Minute Speech that Forever Changed a City.

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

To learn how to win an election, or the art of running for office, visit JayTownsend.com

To receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend, visit http://jaytownsend.com/yours-free-the-10-worst-mistakes-candidates-make

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Get Your Free Copy of My Book: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Candidates Make. Enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.

 

 

On April 2nd,  I was in Indiana visiting my parents. Nobody was talking about anything other than the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which had passed the week before. For an entire week it dominated TV news, and consumed the front pages of the daily newspapers.

 

Leaders of the religious right hailed passage of the bill, asserting that in the name of religious tolerance it gave business owners the right to deny services to gay people.

After passage Indiana’s business’s community howled, including some of the republican governor’s major contributors. Eli Lilly, Apple Computer and the Chamber of Commerce denounced the bill. Conventions were cancelled. One prominent company cancelled plans to expand. The NCAA, headquartered in Indianapolis, made noise about moving to another state.

Governor Mike Pence and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana. What those running for office can learn.

What Those Running for Office Can Learn From Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act

On April 2nd, the two legislators who had shepherded the bill through the legislature a week before held a press conference to walk back the bill. The bill that had caused the firestorm was gutted overnight, a new bill written, and passed the next day…one that explicitly prohibited discrimination against gay people.

I leave to legal scholars the debate over merits of the bill. This post is about the politics of the legislation, the blow-back and how it was handled.

1. This bill as originally passed was a bone to the Christian Right in Indiana, still upset that a Judge had made gay marriage legal in the Hoosier state.

2. The GOP in the legislature underestimated the adverse public reaction, particularly that of the republican business community that is an integral cog in the GOP fundraising wheel.

3. When the noise reached a fevered pitch at the state and national level, the legislators who had voted for the bill were forced to throw the Christian Right under the bus.

There are lessons here for both the GOP and any Governor, legislator, person holding public office or running for office.

1. Do not do things that divide essential elements of your governing coalition, especially bills that get you nothing from the middle. It will fracture your base, and make it more difficult to govern.

2. If you step in it, acknowledge it. Admit the mistake. Make peace with those who howled. Do your Kumbaya and do it in public. At the press conference announcing the rewrite, business and LGBT leaders were invited. GOP Legislators did their mea a culpa, made nice with those who howled and answered questions until the press was tired of asking questions.

3. There is a big lesson here for GOP and those running for office. Denying civil rights to gay people is not a strategy that is going to win a national election. Indiana is a fundamentally conservative state. If this sort of thing is a loser in Indiana, it is a loser just about everywhere. Indeed, when the Governor of Arkansas saw the political carnage the tornado had done to Indiana, he refused to sign a similar bill.

4. There is also a lesson here if you are running for Governor. Do not do what Indiana Governor Mike Pence did. He prominently pushed the original bill and then got egg on his face when he could not defend it on national TV. Instead of taking his medicine, he forced legislators to do the mea a culpa press conference while he hid in his office. He barred the press from his office when he signed the rewrite that gutted his original legislation. And then he skipped town in the dark of night. It was not a profile in courage. His chances of being on a national ticket died in the tornado.

 

Have some thoughts you’d like to share? Hit the comment button and let’s hear it.

Stay tuned for more on the art of running for office and how to win an election.

 

More videos on the art of running for office and how to win an election:

What Candidates Can Learn from Hillary Clinton’s Dilemma when Running for Office.

Running for Office? A Lesson Courtesy of Monica Lewinsky

A Lesson from Steve Jobs: a Message of Empowerment when Running for Office

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

To learn how to win an election, or the art of running for office, visit JayTownsend.com

To receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend, visit http://jaytownsend.com/yours-free-the-10-worst-mistakes-candidates-make

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Get Your Free Copy of My Book: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Candidates Make. Enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.

 

 

What candidates can learn from Hillary Clinton’s dilemma when running for office.

Every candidate faces pressures from four groups in a political campaign. How a candidate handles those pressures is what voters use to evaluate the character of a candidate.

 

 

This week there was a little noticed article in the New York Times about Hillary Clinton. It was not about her email scandal.

Instead the times reported that Hillary is facing a dilemma. She wants the unbridled support of the teachers unions-unions that are petrified by the success of non-union charter schools.

Some of her supporters, however, want her to voice support for charter schools- voters, and parents who like having the freedom to move their child out of failing public schools and into higher performing charter schools.

What will Hillary do? We don’t know, but it will be worth watching because no matter what she does somebody is going to be unhappy.

Will she mouth the words that unionized teachers want to hear, thereby offending parents that want their kids in charter schools? Or will she side with the voters, and risk losing the support of the powerful teachers union?

Mrs. Clinton’s dilemma is the subject of the last chapter in my book, “So You want to run for office.” There are four pressure points every candidate faces in a political campaign. Pressures that come from four groups: The press—which will pressure you to do and say things you should not. Special Interests that are supporting you that expect you to support them. Contributors that are paying your bills. And the voters you need to win.

These groups are not always on the same page. They have different agendas. And how a candidate handles the competing demands of each group…is what voters use to evaluate the character of a candidate.

Ultimately it is the voters who determine who shall win an election. A cautionary note to those running for office. If voters ever get the idea that you are a wholly owned subsidiary of some special interest group, or those writing checks to your campaign, you will flunk the character test. And very seldom is there ever a do over on that one.

Have some thoughts you’d like to share? Hit the comment button and let’s hear it.

Stay tuned for more on the art of running for office and how to win an election.

 

So You Want To Run For Public Office by Political Consultant Jay TownsendClick Here to Get Your Copy of  “So You Want to Run For Public Office”

 

 

 

 For More on “Pressure Points to Monitor when Running for Office,” watch this video.

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

To learn how to win an election, or the art of running for office, visit JayTownsend.com

To receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend, visit http://jaytownsend.com/yours-free-the-10-worst-mistakes-candidates-make

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Get Your Free Copy of My Book: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Candidates Make. Enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.

 

 

There is no one on this earth who has not said or done something they regret, including those who are or may someday run for office.

In our day and age even minor transgressions become internet scandals, words are easily taken out of context, and otherwise decent people subjected to character assassination.

 

This past week Monica Lewinsky gave a poignant and elegant Ted talk that is a worthy watch.
She did not make excuses. She admitted that she ‘made a mistake.’

Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame at Ted Talks

Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame at Ted Talks

Click here to watch the Lewinsky Ted Talk.

I speak and write of this today because of something I hear repeatedly from people who would like to run for office. They want to. They have ideas and passion. But they forego the opportunity to advance their cause rather than pay the price of reliving something stupid they once said or did.

It is not just candidates…this year two high level aides to presidential candidates were terminated because the thought police found some of their tweets offensive.

You can’t change your past, but if you are running for office, there is a lesson to be learned from Lewinsky’s courage.

You are not your worst mistake.

It does not and need not define your life.

If you have made one, admit it. Own it. Embrace the lesson you learned and get on with your life.
There is redemption for those that do, and there are voters who appreciate the authenticity of a candidate who admits to being human.

 

Have some thoughts you’d like to share? Be my guest. If you think one of your friends might benefit from seeing this video, please share it.

Stay tuned for more on the art of running for office and how to win an election.


 

Watch previous videos to learn how to win an election and the art of running for office on JayTownsend.com:

Lessons From the Hillary Oops Conference

A 5 Minute Speech that Forever Changed a City

Essential Reading for Candidates Running for Office

MORE VIDEOS & POSTS on the art of running for office

 


Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

Want to talk? Call Jay at 845-458-1210


 

Message from Political Consultant Jay Townsend

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for more videos on the art of Running for Office and How to Win an Election.

Click Here to receive a free copy of “The 10 Worst Mistakes Candidates Make” written by political consultant Jay Townsend. Or, enter email below and it will be sent to your mailbox.