If you are running for office, or plan to run for office some day, there is a lesson about how to handle a stupid mistake, an affair, bad judgment, a scandal, or an embarrassment in your past.

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President Richard Nixon was not forced to resign because of Watergate. It was because he lied about it.

President Clinton was not impeached because he had an inappropriate relationship with a White House intern. It was because he lied about it.

President Lyndon Johnson was not driven from office because of Vietnam. It was because he lied about Vietnam.

Three weeks ago, Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump by 8 points. She now trails him by two. It is not because the country has suddenly warmed to Mr. Trump. It is because Mrs. Clinton cannot escape the endless stories about her email accounts, and the string of lies that began in March of last year when questions first arose about her use of a private email server.

If she loses the election, it won’t be because she was careless with a secret, or because she deleted some embarrassing emails. It will be because she lied about it.

If you are running for office, or plan to run for office some day, there is a lesson about how to handle a stupid mistake, an affair, bad judgment, a scandal, or an embarrassment in your past.

Come clean. Admit your mistake. Make your apology. Eat your peas. Take your medicine.

Voters will forgive human error, stupidity, and bad judgment. They have a hard time tolerating or forgiving candidates who are pathological prevaricators.

No important relationship can long exist if trust is sacrificed on the altar of a lie. No form of government can long endure if voters believe their President won’t or can’t tell the truth.

Have questions? Hit the comment button. Or email me at [email protected]. My phone number is 845-458-1210.

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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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