Gary Hart
Democratic politician from Colorado
Gary Hart
Gary Hart is an American politician, lawyer, author, professor and commentator. He served as a Democratic Senator representing Colorado (1975–1987), and ran in the U.S. presidential elections in 1984 and again in 1988, when he was considered a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination until various news organizations reported that he was having an extramarital affair.
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Early Signpost of The Trump Era: Heinlein's 'Future History' and Asimov's 'Foundation' at 75
Huffington Post - about 2 months
As the bizarre, toxic yet darkly fascinating year 2016 has faded completely into an unknown 2017, a question or two occurs with relevance to the next few years. Did legendary science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein predict much of what has just happened in a series of stories he worked out before the United States entered World War II? In his 'Future History' series, Heinlein did point to a presidential election which occurs right about, well, now as the moment in which the United States falls into "a dictatorship of superstition." The cause? The election, during the nation's most tempestuous and combustible of campaigns, of an anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-foreigner populist appealing to racists and fundamentalist Christians and uber-rich reactionaries who wins a narrow victory. In the last presidential election for 75 years. Who was it who said it can't happen here? And, oh yes, did legendary science fiction writer Isaac Asimov give rise to a fateful fascination wit ...
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Huffington Post article
Some Thoughts On Our First Trump Christmas
Huffington Post - 2 months
President-elect Donald J. Trump. Christmas 2016. Deal with it. Deck the halls. Nah, I'm not that harsh. Far from it. Though I do feel rather distant from the, well, pity party that so many of my old friends seem to be going through in the wake of the "unthinkable" election of Trump. That's because it stopped being "unthinkable" to me a long time ago; specifically, when Trump quickly disproved my assessment that he had definitively screwed himself when the Vietnam War draft, ah, evader derided the status of our most famous Vietnam War hero, Senator John McCain. When he got away with that, going on to draw even bigger crowds, in a party which supposedly reveres military service, I knew Trump was on to some very big mojo. So I've had well over a year to worry and warn and get used to the prospect of the Trump presidency. Which means more than a year to go through various permutations of distress, dismay and grief about a President Trump. And as we head into Christmas weekend th ...
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Huffington Post article
Trump Adjusts "Reality" As His Reality Emerges
Huffington Post - 3 months
So, just how clever are Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and the rest of the pirate crew which imploded the "Blue Wall" of the electoral college and took down the fabled Clinton machine en route to seizing the White House? Last Friday, Trump did what he claimed repeatedly he would never ever do, i.e., commit to a massive pay-out to make the "Trump University" fraud case go away. His lawyers spun the $25 million (!!) as just the cost of clearing his busy schedule as president-elect. A big trial in the case was due to start at the end of the month here in California, which Trump just lost by a whopping 29 points, the biggest shellacking of a Republican presidential nominee in the Golden State since Franklin D. Roosevelt's election 80 years ago. No one was going to buy the spin on the huge settlement, something that, had it occurred in the campaign, would have doomed Trump's chances. (Just as an indictment of Hillary Clinton for her amazingly slipshod handling of her sensi ...
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Huffington Post article
Donald Trump, New Moves on National Security, and One of Our Oddest Veterans Day Weekends
Huffington Post - 3 months
Is America in eclipse? After a strange Veterans Day weekend, it is decidedly unclear. As I feared for more than a year, a deeply troubled and profoundly perturbed America has fallen through the looking glass into Trumplandia. How different will America be under President Donald Trump? It may be quite a lot, all the way into the fascism that Trump so obviously flirted with throughout his campaign. Or it may be not so much, since Trump seems motivated more by an ethic of success than any coherent ideology. And then there is his erratic nature to consider. As I wrote repeatedly during the campaign, it was Trump's own all too frequently intemperate style that kept him from what could have been a truly substantial victory over a very vulnerable Hillary Clinton. That's why I rated the race as up in the air in my final pre-election column, just as I did all the times when Hillary seemed to have a very large lead. The opportunity for a Trump victory was always obvious; what was not at all ...
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Huffington Post article
The Unsurprisingly Surprising President-elect Donald Trump
Huffington Post - 3 months
Well, as I wrote all along on the innumerable occasions when the media declared the race over (see my archive link below), this presidential election will be over when it is over. Now it is over, and the preposterous but ever potent Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States. Frankly, had Trump not been so dysfunctional as a candidate -- a week spent nastily arguing with an ex-Miss Universe, really??!! -- his election would have been much easier. No matter what the astoundingly clueless media said. That's because, as I wrote repeatedly, there is a huge right-wing vote in America aggregated by the new media culture and effectively consolidated and activated by Trump. And there is a smaller but nonetheless real swing constituency that liked Barack Obama but was disappointed by the results and could not buy into the Clinton legacy of economic uncertainty for them and endless scandal. As I feared, there was a "Brexit" factor with the polling, as the mainstream media ca ...
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Huffington Post article
Neil Young: A Timely, and Timeless, Appeal
Huffington Post - 4 months
"The end of this war? The end of this war is when we solve the energy problem. This war is going on for a long, long time. This war will not go away until we figure out what we're doing here on the planet. This is a bad war." Neil Young 'The Charlie Rose Show' July 17, 2008 Even as his quirky yet essential place in the rock music pantheon was affirmed this month by his thunderously successful appearances at Desert Trip -- the massive, ultra-expensive mega-festival outside Palm Springs, California for classic rock aficionados, which also featured the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Who, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, and Bob Dylan -- recent events had also affirmed Young's sociopolitical relevance. Earlier in the year, Young, a staunch backer of Bernie Sanders, feuded ferociously with Donald Trump over the climate change denier and racism inciter's insistence on using Young's corrosively anti-corporate 'Rockin' in the free world' as his incongruous campaign song. Aft ...
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Huffington Post article
Ireland: Determined To Meet The Challenges Of Brexit
Huffington Post - 5 months
On 23 June, the electorate in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This was a very significant decision, the first ever exit vote by a member state, one of the EU's largest. The exit process will take some years to complete and will represent an enormous legal and political challenge for all concerned. It is something we need to get right. The Irish government, like the U.S. administration, was convinced that the best outcome to the referendum would have been a strong UK remaining within a strong EU. But we were as prepared as we could be for a different result. Our goal now is to work together to strengthen the European Union while ensuring as close a relationship as possible between the UK and EU. In Ireland we are very familiar with the challenges and unpredictability of referendums. We always felt a Brexit outcome was possible and for that reason the Irish government engaged in extensive contingency planning right across all sectors of government. ...
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Huffington Post article
On A Day Of Solemn Remembrance And Reflection
Huffington Post - 5 months
As we remember the more than 3,000 casualties from September 11 now fifteen years ago today, and reflect on whether their deaths were avoidable, it is necessary to recall the warnings of terrorist attacks on American soil issued as early as 1999 and repeated on January 31, 2001, by the United States Commission on National Security/21st Century of which one of these authors, General Charles Boyd, was Executive Director and the other author, Senator Gary Hart, was, with his late colleague, Senator Warren Rudman, co-chair. That commission was mandated to provide the most comprehensive review of U.S. national security since the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 and to make recommendations to the next President of the United States on countering new indications and warnings of threats in a dramatically changing world. A bipartisan panel of distinguished Democratic and Republican national security experts oversaw a staff of highly experienced military, Foreign Service, and in ...
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Huffington Post article
Sunday Roundup
Huffington Post - about 1 year
This week, the two men who finished first and second in New Hampshire offered the tale of two Republican parties. John Kasich's speech that night offered the starkest contrast to Donald Trump's triumphant ugliness, scapegoating and division. "We're going to solve the problems in America not by being extreme," he said, but by "reminding everybody that we are Americans dedicated to shining up America and fixing our problems." He declared that we are all meant to be "a part of the healing of this world." Kasich's speech was an alternate path forward for the GOP -- Trump's focused on our darkest fears, Kasich's on our better angels. As the campaign heads south, let's remember that presidential elections are about more than choosing the leader of the country. They are also about choosing what kind of country and people we want to be. In the lead-up to the 2000 election, I interviewed historians and novelists about what we were looking for in a president. What they said then is just as rel ...
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Huffington Post article
On the Eve of Iowa
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Voting is finally about to begin in the Republican and Democratic presidential primary contests. That's exciting. But it may not last. Are the races close to being over just before they've begun? If so, it's especially so for Donald Trump, who is taking advantage of unique quirks in the media culture to turn his reality TV persona and aggressive know-nothingism into a serious political head of steam. Every four years for the past few generations, Iowa and New Hampshire -- two wildly unrepresentative and rather quirky states -- have played the critical winnowing process in determining who really is a leading candidate for President of the United States. More recently, back in 2008, the Democrats led the Republicans into adding two other states much more racially diverse, Nevada and South Carolina, to what becomes the early tier of primary and caucus contests, now all in the month of February. But Iowa and New Hampshire, still white as the cast on an Elizabethan stage, remai ...
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Huffington Post article
The Idiocy of the Iowa Caucuses
Huffington Post - about 1 year
What were we thinking? If we're lucky, the day will come when we look back at the Iowa caucuses and the quadrennial carnival they inaugurate with the same embarrassed horror we now feel for duck-and-cover as a safety drill for nuclear war. What a dangerous distraction the Iowa spectacle has been from the dysfunction and unfairness of democracy as we now know it. No, worse, what a cynical celebration of it. Pitifully few Americans vote, and shockingly few of them are young or poor or people of color, yet we give wildly disproportionate influence to the white rural voters of one small state whose priorities, like subsidies for corn-based ethanol, are nationally marginal, and whose disposable time for caucus-going is unimaginable to parents working multiple shifts at multiple jobs. At the same time, what a bonanza it's been for the state's TV and radio stations, which have raked in tens of millions of dollars in attack ads, and what a bordello it's been for the billionaires and sp ...
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Huffington Post article
For Hillary Clinton, Three Problems and A Solution
Huffington Post - about 1 year
There are three principal problems for Hillary Clinton as she attempts to lock down the Democratic presidential nomination. The hothouse atmospheres of Iowa and New Hampshire, the socialist thematics and anti-establishment authenticity of Bernie Sanders, and Hillary's lack of a clearcut mission aside from electing herself. None of this is new. I discussed it early on in a number of pieces, including "The Sanders Saga: Why Is A 'Half-Baked Version of Tom Hayden' Beating the Clintons?" What makes if all current is that these dynamics have reasserted themselves after Hillary's commanding performances in the House Benghazi Committee inquisition and the Democratic debate. Good things have a tendency to wear off, especially if there are other powerful dynamics in play. Reports abound of hand-wringing in Clintonland, though I sense a careful lowering of expectations at work as well. But just as four weddings can be followed by a funeral -- okay, not exactly the metaphor the Clinton ...
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Huffington Post article
Post-San Bernardino Politics: Devolutionary Republicans, A Carterizing Obama, Presidential Hillary, and the Inevitability of Trumpism
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The week since the bloody terrorist attack on a San Bernardino holiday party hasn't gone well for American politics. It's mostly been a disconcerting combination of the uncertain and the shrill, the latter crossing the line into outright fascism. President Barack Obama, though faster than in the past at recognizing jihadism when he sees it, wasted an Oval Office address on a refried beans mess of platitudes I forgot as soon as I heard it. If he had so little to say, I don't know why he bothered. At least he didn't take months to recognize jihadist terrorism, as he did when the obviously radicalized U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan -- lest we forget, the delicious irony, a psychiatrist -- gunned down 45 people, killing 13 and wounding 32 others, at Fort Hood in 2009. The San Bernardino attackers gunned down 35 people, killing 14. The Republicans who would replace Obama? Well, that is the shrill. They mostly acted like it is World War III. Or maybe they just want World War III. ...
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Gary Hart
  • 2014
    Age 77
    In October 2014, President Barack Obama along with Secretary of State John Kerry named Hart as the new United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.
    More Details Hide Details Hart is the second former U.S. Senator to hold the post. The first was George Mitchell, former seat-mate and former Majority Leader of the United States Senate, who served from 1995-2001. In a statement, Kerry called Hart "a longtime friend" and said he was "a problem-solver, a brilliant analyst, and someone capable of thinking at once tactically, strategically, and practically." Non-fiction: Novels: In January 2000, Hart revealed that he is the political thriller writer John Blackthorn, whose books include Sins of the Fathers and I, Che Guevara. Colorado United States Senate election, 1974 (Democratic primary): Colorado United States Senate election, 1974 Colorado United States Senate election, 1980:
    Hart was appointed to be the United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland in October 2014.
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  • 2007
    Age 70
    He founded the American Security Project in 2007 and he started a new blog in 2009.
    More Details Hide Details Since retiring from the Senate, he has emerged as a consultant on national security, and continues to speak on a wide range of issues, including the environment and homeland security. In 2006, Hart accepted an endowed professorship at the University of Colorado at Denver. He has been a visiting lecturer at Oxford University, Yale University, and the University of California. He is Chair of the U.S. State Department's International Security Advisory Council, Chair of the U.S. Defense Department's Threat Advisory Council, and Chair of the American Security Project. He was Vice-Chair of the Advisory Council for the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Co-Chair of the U.S.-Russia Commission, Chairman of the Council for a Livable World, and President of Global Green, the U.S. affiliate of Mikhail Gorbachev's environmental foundation. Most notably, he was Co-Chair of the U.S. Commission on National Security for the 21st Century, known as the Hart-Rudman Commission, which predicted terrorist attacks on America before 9/11.
    Hart linked American energy policy with national security in an essay published in November 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Hart wrote, "In fact, we do have an energy policy: It’s to continue to import more than half our oil and sacrifice American lives so we can drive our Humvees. This is our current policy, and it is massively immoral." Hart currently sits on the board of directors for the Energy Literacy Advocates.
    In September 2007, The Huffington Post published Hart's letter, "Unsolicited Advice to the Government of Iran", in which he stated that "Provocation is no longer required to take America to war" and warns Iran that "for the next sixteen months or so, you should not only not take provocative actions, you should not seem to be doing so."
    More Details Hide Details He went on to suggest that the Bush-Cheney administration was waiting for an opportunity to attack Iran, writing: "Don't give a certain vice president we know the justification he is seeking to attack your country."
  • 2005
    Age 68
    He is the author of James Monroe, part of the Times Books series on American presidents published in October 2005.
    More Details Hide Details Hart is an Honorary Fellow of the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin. He is an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy.
  • 2004
    Age 67
    According to an October 23, 2004, National Journal article and later reports in the Washington Post, Hart was mentioned as a probable Cabinet appointment if Kerry won the presidency.
    More Details Hide Details He was considered a top candidate for either Director of National Intelligence, Secretary of Homeland Security or Secretary of Defense. Since May 2005 he has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (better known as the CFR). Hart also sits on the Advisory Board of Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief and development agency. It was announced in January 2006 that Hart will hold an endowed professorship at the University of Colorado.
  • 2003
    Age 66
    He started his own blog in the spring of 2003, the first prospective presidential candidate to do so.
    More Details Hide Details After a few months of speaking, Hart decided not to run for president and instead endorsed Democrat John Kerry.
  • 2002
    Age 65
    In late 2002, urged by former Oxford classmates, Hart began testing the waters for another run for the presidency, launching a website at and a related speaking tour to gauge reactions from the public.
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  • 2001
    Age 64
    Hart met with aviation executives in Montreal, Canada, on September 5, 2001, to warn of airborne terrorist attacks. The Montreal Gazette reported the story the following day with a headline, “Thousands Will Die, Ex-Presidential Hopeful Says.” On September 6, 2001, Hart met with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to urge, "You must move more quickly on homeland security.
    More Details Hide Details An attack is going to happen." In a subsequent interview with, Hart accused President George W. Bush and other administration officials of ignoring his warnings.
    Hart gave a speech before the American international law firm Coudert Brothers on September 4, 2001, exactly one week before the September 11 attacks, warning that within the next 25 years a terrorist attack would lead to mass deaths in the United States.
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    He earned a doctorate in Politics (D.Phil.) from the University of Oxford in 2001, with a thesis entitled The Restoration of the Republic; he was a member of St Antony's College.
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  • 1998
    Age 61
    After his Senate service and presidential races, Hart resumed his law practice. He remained moderately active in public policy matters, serving on the bipartisan US Commission on National Security/21st Century, also known as the Hart–Rudman Commission, commissioned on behalf of Bill Clinton in 1998 to study U.S. homeland security. The commission issued several findings calling for broad changes to security policy, but none was implemented until after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
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  • 1987
    Age 50
    In December 1987, Hart returned to the race, declaring on the steps of New Hampshire Statehouse, "Let's let the people decide!" Hart said that the other candidates did not represent his new ideas of strategic investment economics, military reform and "enlightened engagement in foreign policy."
    More Details Hide Details Hart warned, "We could lose more young Americans unnecessarily in the Persian Gulf." He initially rose to the top of the polls nationally, and second behind Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis in New Hampshire, but was soon confronted with more negative stories about prior debts from his 1984 campaign. He competed in the New Hampshire primary and received 4,888 votes, about 4 percent. After the Super Tuesday contests on March 8, in which he won no more than 5 percent of the vote, Hart withdrew from the campaign a second time.
    His campaign chairman, Colorado congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, jumped into the race following Hart's withdrawal, but soon after withdrew herself at an emotional press conference on September 28, 1987.
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    On May 8, 1987, a week after the story broke, Hart suspended his campaign after the Washington Post threatened to run a story about a woman Hart had dated while separated from his wife, and his wife and daughter became similar subjects of interest for tabloid journalists.
    More Details Hide Details At a press conference, Hart defiantly stated, "I said that I bend, but I don't break, and believe me, I'm not broken." Hart identified the invasive media coverage, and its need to "dissect" him, as his reason for suspending his campaign, "If someone's able to throw up a smokescreen and keep it up there long enough, you can't get your message across. You can't raise the money to finance a campaign; there's too much static, and you can't communicate.Clearly, under the present circumstances, this campaign cannot go on. I refuse to submit my family and my friends and innocent people and myself to further rumors and gossip. It's simply an intolerable situation." Hart paraphrased Thomas Jefferson and warned, "I tremble for my country when I think we may, in fact, get the kind of leaders we deserve." Hart later recalled, "I watched journalists become animals, literally."
    In late April 1987, The Miami Herald claimed that an anonymous informant contacted the paper to relate that Hart was having an affair with a friend, claimed it was the equivalent of the Iran-Contra scandal, provided details about the affair, and told the Herald that Hart was going to meet this person at his Washington, D.C., townhouse on May 1.
    More Details Hide Details As a result, a team of Herald reporters followed Donna Rice on a flight from Miami to Washington, D.C., then staked out Hart's townhouse that evening and the next Saturday, and observed a young woman and Hart together. The Herald reporters confronted Hart on Saturday evening in an alley about his relationship with Rice. Hart replied, "I'm not involved in any relationship.” and alleged that he had been set up. The Herald published a story on May 3 that Hart had spent Friday night and most of Saturday with a young woman in his Washington, D.C. townhouse. On that same day, in an interview with E. J. Dionne that appeared in the New York Times, Hart, responding to the rumors of his womanizing, said: "Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'll be very bored." The Heralds reporters at some point learned that the New York Times was planning to feature the story with the quote on Sunday, incorporated it into their story, and the two articles appearing on the same day ignited a political firestorm. On Sunday, Hart's campaign denied any scandal and condemned the Heralds reporters for intrusive reporting. Hart later noted that his "follow me around" comment was not "challenging the press with a taunt", but, made in frustration, was only intended to invite the media to observe his public behavior, and never intended to invite reporters to be "skulking around in the shadows" of his home. '“He did not think of it as a challenge,” Dionne would recall many years later. “And at the time, I did not think of it as a challenge.”' Nor did Hart's comment influence the Miami Herald to pursue the story.
    Hart officially declared his candidacy on April 13, 1987.
    More Details Hide Details When Lois Romano, a reporter for The Washington Post, asked Hart to respond to rumors spread by other campaigns that he was a "womanizer", Hart said such candidates were "not going to win that way, because you don't get to the top by tearing someone else down." The New York Post reported that comment on its front page with the headline lead in "Straight from the Hart", followed below with big, black block letters: "GARY: I'M NO WOMANIZER., and then a summary of the story: "Dem blasts rivals over sex life rumors".
    After Mario Cuomo announced that he would not enter the race in February 1987, Hart was the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the 1988 election.
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  • 1986
    Age 49
    Hart declined to run for re-election to the Senate, leaving office when his second term expired with the intent of running for president again. On December 20, 1986, Hart was allegedly followed by an anonymous private investigator from a radio station where he had given the Democratic Party's response to President Reagan's weekly radio address.
    More Details Hide Details That alleged PI report reported that Hart had been followed to a woman's house, photographed there, and left sometime the following morning. This allegation would ultimately cause him to suspend his planned presidential campaign.
  • 1984
    Age 47
    1984 Democratic presidential primaries: 1984 Democratic National Convention: 1988 Democratic presidential primaries:
    More Details Hide Details 1988 Democratic National Convention:
    The scandal spread rapidly through the national media, as did another damaging story about angry creditors of the $1.3 million debt Hart had incurred in his 1984 campaign.
    More Details Hide Details Media questions about the affair came to dominate coverage of Hart's campaign, but his staff believed that voters were not as interested in the topic as the media was. Hart's staff believed that the media was filtering his message. A Gallup Poll conducted that week for Newsweek, (but published the following week) found that 55% of Democrats believed that Hart had been truthful, and 44% of them were unconcerned about the issue. The polling of all voters was even more favorable to Hart. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the U.S. respondents it surveyed thought the media treatment of Hart was "unfair", and 70% disapproved of covert surveillance by the media. A little over half (53 percent) responded that marital infidelity had little to do with a president's ability to govern. Time magazine had similar results: Of those polled 67% disapproved of the media writing about a candidate's sex life, and 60% stated that Hart's relationship with Rice was irrelevant to the presidency. New York Governor, Mario Cuomo remarked on the topic that there were "skeletons in everybody's closet."
    He served as a U.S. Senator representing Colorado (1975 - 1987), and sought the Democratic nomination for President in 1984 and 1988.
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  • 1983
    Age 46
    This strategy attracted national media attention to his campaign, and by late 1983, he had risen moderately in the polls to the middle of the field, mostly at the expense of the sinking candidacies of Glenn and Alan Cranston.
    More Details Hide Details Mondale won the Iowa caucus in late January, but Hart polled a respectable 16 percent. Two weeks later, in the New Hampshire primary, he shocked much of the party establishment and the media by defeating Mondale by 10 percentage points. Hart instantly became the main challenger to Mondale for the nomination and appeared to have the momentum on his side. Hart's media campaign was produced by Raymond Strother, a native Texan who had begun his career in Louisiana. Hart could not overcome Mondale's financial and organizational advantages, especially among labor union leaders in the Midwest and industrial Northeast. Hart's campaign was chronically in debt, to a final count of $4.75 million. In states like Illinois, where delegates were elected directly by primary voters, Hart often had incomplete delegate slates. Hart's ideas were criticized as too vague and centrist by many Democrats.
    In February 1983, during his second term, Hart announced his candidacy for president in the 1984 presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details At the time of his announcement, Hart was a little-known senator and barely received above 1 percent in the polls against better-known candidates such as Walter Mondale, John Glenn and Jesse Jackson. To counter this situation, Hart started campaigning early in New Hampshire, making a then-unprecedented canvassing tour in late September, months before the primary.
  • 1980
    Age 43
    In 1980, he sought a second term.
    More Details Hide Details In something of a surprise, his Republican opponent was Colorado Secretary of State Mary Estill Buchanan, a moderate candidate who narrowly defeated the more conservative choice, Howard "Bo" Callaway, in the party primary, by less than 2,000 primary votes. Fourteen years earlier, Callaway had been the Republican gubernatorial nominee in his native Georgia. Callaway in the early 1970s had bought and run an elegant resort in Crested Butte. Buchanan had hit Hart hard for supporting the Panama Canal Treaties and for backing Jimmy Carter in 80 percent of his Senate votes. Buchanan charged in a campaign ad about Hart: "He votes one way and talks another when he is back here. He is a liberal, McGovernite carpetbagger." Hart responded that Buchanan's charges reflected her narrow viewpoint and insisted that his campaign would rise above partisanship. Said Hart in a campaign ad: "I will not ignore her. We will interact and debate, but I am going to run a campaign for the 1980s. What is her plan for the environment? For national defense? For the economy? It took me a year or so to formulate my ideas."
  • 1975
    Age 38
    From 1975 to '76, Hart was a member of a subcommittee under the "Church Committee" that looked into to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
    More Details Hide Details Hart served as the chairman of Senate Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation. He flew over the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in an army helicopter several times with minority member Alan K. Simpson during a nuclear accident there, and led the subsequent Senate investigation into the accident.
  • 1974
    Age 37
    In 1974, Hart ran for the United States Senate, challenging two-term incumbent Republican Peter Dominick.
    More Details Hide Details Hart was aided by Colorado's trend toward Democrats during the early 1970s, as well as Dominick's continued support for the unpopular President Richard Nixon and concerns about the senator's age and health. In the general election, Hart won by a wide margin (57.2% to Dominick's 39.5%) and was immediately labeled a rising star. He got a seat on the Armed Services Committee, and was an early supporter of reforming the bidding for military contracts, as well as an advocate for the military using smaller, more mobile weapons and equipment, as opposed to the traditional large scale items. He also served on the Environment and Public Work Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  • 1972
    Age 35
    While their primary election strategy proved successful in winning the nomination, McGovern would go on to lose the 1972 presidential election in one of the most lopsided elections in U.S. history.
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    In the 1972 primary elections, McGovern named Hart his campaign manager.
    More Details Hide Details Along with Rick Stearns, an expert on the new system, they decided on a strategy to focus on the 28 states holding caucuses instead of primary elections. They felt the nature of the caucuses made them easier (and less costly) to win if they targeted their efforts.
  • 1965
    Age 28
    He was special assistant to the solicitor of the United States Department of the Interior from 1965 to 1967. He then entered private law practice in Denver, Colorado, at the firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs. Following the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, U.S. Senator George McGovern of South Dakota co-chaired a commission that revised the Democratic presidential nomination structure.
    More Details Hide Details The new structure weakened the influence of such old-style party bosses such as Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, who were once able to hand-pick national convention delegates and dictate the way they voted. The new rules made caucuses a process in which relative newcomers could participate without paying dues to established party organizations.
  • 1964
    Age 27
    Hart became an attorney for the United States Department of Justice from 1964 to 1965, and was admitted to the Colorado and District of Columbia bars in 1965.
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  • 1961
    Age 24
    He also graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1961 and Yale Law School in 1964.
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  • 1958
    Age 21
    He met his wife, Oletha (Lee) Ludwig, there, and they married in 1958.
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  • 1954
    Age 17
    He won a scholarship to Bethany Nazarene College in Bethany, Oklahoma, in 1954 and graduated in 1958.
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  • 1937
    Age 0
    Shortly after he became the new frontrunner, it was revealed that Hart had changed his last name, had often listed 1937 instead of 1936 as his birth date and had changed his signature several times.
    More Details Hide Details This, along with two separations from his wife, Lee, caused some to question Hart's "flake factor." Nonetheless, he and his wife have remained married for almost 60 years. The two men swapped victories in the primaries, with Hart getting exposure as a candidate with "new ideas" and Mondale rallying the party establishment to his side. The two men fought to a draw in the Super Tuesday, with Hart winning states in the West, Florida and New England. Mondale fought back and began ridiculing Hart's campaign platform. The most famous television moment of the campaign was during a debate when he mocked Hart's "new ideas" by quoting a line from a popular Wendy's television commercial at the time: "Where's the beef? " Hart's campaign could not effectively counter this remark, and when he ran negative TV commercials against Mondale in the Illinois primary, his appeal as a new kind of Democrat never entirely recovered. Hart lost the New York and Pennsylvania primaries, but won those of Ohio and Indiana.
  • 1936
    Born on November 28, 1936.
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