Gary Warren Hart (Hartpence), Democrat, United States Senator] 1975-1987, Presidential candidate in 1984 and 1988. b. November 28, 1936. Still walking around somewhere in the Colorado area.

His career began with degrees from Bethany Navarene College in 1958, Yale Divinity School in 1961, and Yale University Law School in 1964. He was admitted to the bar in Colorado and the District of Columbia in 1965 and then received gainful employment in the form of working as an attorney for the United States Department of Justice from 1964-1965. He was feeling pretty good by 1974, after successful ventures in both the government sector and the private sector. He then ran for the United States Senate and served there for twelve years.

Presidential campaigns can be an effective way to expose your backside. In 1984, Hart ran a campaign for the presidency based on "new ideas" and attacking the ethics of the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan. The opposition turned the lights on Hart, finding he had changed his name from Hartpence and that he was older than he officially stated he was. This was coupled with rumors about him being a philanderer who stepped out on his wife, although nothing truly concrete surfaced at the time. He lost the Democratic nomination to Walter Mondale, but many speculated he was gearing up for 1988, knowing that it would be all but impossible for the Democratic candidate to unseat Reagan.

In 1987 Gary Hart appeared to be the frontrunner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. However, questions began to arise again, once again spotlighted by his continuing accusations about improprieties in the Republican administration. Questions about marital infidelity were raised as well as questions about his 1984 campaign debt, which was astronomical and he appeared to have no way to repay.

Monkey Business

That would be the name of the yacht Gary Hart was sailing on when the story broke. The Miami Herald, acting on a tip, reported that Hart had spent part of the weekend of May 1 - May 3, 1987 with a woman who was not his wife. The woman turned out to be actress/model Donna Rice. This was after he dared reporters to follow him, claiming they would be bored to tears by anything they might find. When the story broke, Hart and his supporters fought back. They likened the media to "peeping toms" who did not know or understand the full story. This set off a chain reaction. Did political candidates have the right to a private personal life without the intrusive presence of the media? Hart then apologized, stating that he had made a mistake that put him in a position where his actions could be easily misunderstood and misinterpreted.

It was then that the National Enquirer published the infamous photograph of Donna Rice sitting, sans pants, on the presidential candidate's lap. Then home videos fell into the wrong hands, revealing the two enjoying relaxing times at home together.

"Have you ever committed adultery?"
"Ah, I don't have to answer that question."

The story and all its trappings came out just before the 1987 New Hampshire primary. Hart's support dropped by 15% even though a majority of polled voters said they did not believe the media had a right to invade the privacy of political candidates and that Hart was treated unfairly. In the end, Hart withdrew his candidacy on May 8, 1987.

"I am who I am, take it or leave it."

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