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.

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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.

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.

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