Gary Hart

:"For the football player, see Gary Hart (footballer)."

Infobox Senator
name=Gary Warren Hart

jr/sr=United States Senator
term_start=January 3, 1975
term_end=January 3, 1987
preceded=Peter H. Dominick
succeeded=Tim Wirth
date of birth= birth date and age|1936|11|28
place of birth= Ottawa, Kansas
date of death=
place of death=
spouse=Lee Ludwig Hart

Gary Hart (born Gary Warren Hartpence, November 28, 1936) is an American politician, lawyer, author, professor and commentator. He formerly 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 engaged in an extramarital affair. 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 2001, he earned a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford. In 2006, Hart accepted an endowed professorship at the University of Colorado at Denver. He also serves as Chairman for Council for a Livable World. He has written or co-authored numerous books and articles, including four novels, two under the pen name John Blackthorn.


Hart was born in Ottawa, Kansas to Nina Pritchard and Carl Riley Hartpence, a farm equipment salesman. [ [ Ancestry of Gary Hart ] ] He changed his last name to "Hart" in 1961. He attended Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University), located in Bethany, Oklahoma, graduating in 1958. He graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1961 and Yale Law School in 1964.

He 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.

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 on and off over the next seven years, while managing U.S. Senator George McGovern's presidential campaign in 1972. He was elected as a Democrat to the Senate in 1974 and was reelected to a second term in 1980.

George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign

Hart occasionally calls himself the inventor of the Iowa caucuses. 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, weakening the influence of such old-style party bosses 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.

In the 1972 election, McGovern named Hart his campaign manager. Along with Rick Stearns, an expert on the new system, they decided on a strategy to focus on the newly important Iowa caucuses. They predicted that a strong showing in Iowa would give the campaign momentum that would propel them toward the nomination and weaken Muskie. Indeed, the strategy worked — setting a trend of focusing on the Iowa caucuses that has continued to this day — and the McGovern campaign took advantage of the Iowa results to win the nomination.

However, Hart could not steer McGovern to the presidency. In the general election, McGovern carried only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

1984 presidential campaign

In February 1983, during his second term, Hart announced his candidacy for president in the 1984 presidential election. At the time of his announcement, Hart was a little-known Senator and barely received above one 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. 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. 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.

However, Hart's campaign could not overcome Mondale's financial and organizational advantages, especially among labor union leaders in the Midwest and industrial Northeast. Hart was chronically in debt, to a final count of $4.75 million. [Lindsay, Robert "Convention Sideline: Raising Money", New York Times, July 21, 1984, pg. 11] 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. 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. 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 50 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. [ [ YouTube - Gary Hart 1984 Television Ads ] ] 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.

Mondale gradually pulled away from Hart in the delegate count, but the race was not decided until June, on "Super Tuesday III". [cite news|url=,9171,951168,00.html|title=Over the Top, Barely|publisher=Time|date=June 18, 1984|author=Ed Magnuson] Decided that day were delegates from five states: South Dakota, New Mexico, West Virginia, California and New Jersey. [cite news|url=,9171,951132-1,00.html|title=A Big Bicoastal Finale|publisher=Time|date=June 4, 1984|author=George J. Church] The proportional nature of delegate selection meant that Mondale was likely to obtain enough delegates on that day to secure the stated support of an overall majority of delegates, and hence the nomination, no matter who actually "won" the states contested. However, Hart maintained that unpledged superdelegates that had previously claimed support for Mondale would shift to his side if he swept the Super Tuesday III primary.cite news
date=June 11, 1984
author=Evan Thomas
title=Last Call, and Out Reeling
] Once again, Hart committed a "faux pas," insulting New Jersey shortly before the primary day. Campaigning in California, he remarked that while the "bad news" was that he and his wife Lee had to campaign separately, " [t] he good news for her is that she campaigns in California while I campaign in New Jersey." Compounding the problem, when his wife interjected that she "got to hold a koala bear," Hart replied that "I won't tell you what I got to hold: samples from a toxic waste dump." While Hart won California, he lost New Jersey after leading in polls by as much as 15 points.

By the time the final primaries concluded, Mondale had a considerable lead in total delegates, though he was 40 delegates short of clinching victory. Superdelegates voted overwhelmingly for Mondale at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco on July 16, making him the presidential nominee. Hart, already aware that the nomination was all but Mondale's after the final primaries, lobbied for the Vice Presidential slot on the ticket, claiming that he would do better than Mondale against President Ronald Reagan (an argument undercut by a June 1984 Gallup poll that showed both men nine points behind the president). While Hart was given serious consideration, Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro instead.

Nonetheless, this race for the nomination was the closest in two generations, and it has been the most recent occasion that a major party presidential nomination has gone all the way to the convention. Mondale was later defeated in a landslide by the incumbent Reagan, winning only his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia. Many felt that Hart and other similar candidates, younger and more independent-minded, represented the future of the party.

1988 presidential campaign and the Donna Rice affair

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. In January 1987, he was the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the 1988 election. [Dionne, E.J. jr., "Poll Gives Hart and Bush Clear Leads for Nominations", New York Times, January 25, 1987, pg. 18]

Hart officially declared his candidacy on April 13, 1987. [Toner, Robin, "Hart, Stressing Ideals, Formally Enters the 1988 Race; 'It's an issue of recapturing our basic principles, beliefs and values.' "New York Times", April 14, 1987. pg. A16] Rumors began circulating nearly immediately that Hart was having an extramarital affair. In an interview that appeared in the "New York Times" on May 3, 1987, Hart responded to the rumors by daring the press corps: "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." [Dionne, E.J. Jr. "The Elusive Front-Runner; GARY HART" "New York Times", May 3, 1987, pg. SM28] The "Miami Herald" had been investigating Hart's womanizing for weeks before the "dare" appeared in the "New York Times". Two reporters from the "Miami Herald" had staked out his residence and observed an attractive young woman leaving Hart's Washington, D.C., townhouse on the evening of May 2. The "Herald" published the story on May 3, the same day Hart's dare appeared in print, and the scandal spread rapidly through the national media. Hart and his allies attacked the "Herald" for rushing the story into print, claiming that it had unfairly judged the situation without finding out the facts. Hart claimed that the reporters had not watched both entrances to his home and could not have seen when the young woman entered and left the building. The "Miami Herald" reporter had flown to Washington, D.C. on the same flight as the woman, identified as Donna Rice. Hart was dogged with questions regarding his views on marital infidelity. In public, his wife, Lee, supported him, claiming the relationship with the young woman was innocent. [Dionne, E.J. Jr. "Paper and Hart in Dispute Over Article", "New York Times", May 4, 1987, pg. A16] A poll of voters in New Hampshire for the New Hampshire Primary showed that Hart's support had dropped in half, from 32% to 17%, placing him suddenly ten points behind Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis.

On May 5, the "Herald" received a further tip that Hart had spent a night in Bimini on a yacht called the "Monkey Business" with a woman who was not his wife. The "Herald" obtained photographs of Hart aboard the "Monkey Business" with then-29-year-old model Donna Rice, sitting on Hart's lap. The photographs were subsequently published in the "National Enquirer" [ [ Smithsonian Magazine | People & Places | "Those Aren't Rumors" ] ] . On May 8, 1987, a week after the story broke, Hart dropped out of the race. At a press conference, he lashed out at the media, saying "I said that I bend, but I don't break, and believe me, I'm not broken." A Gallup Poll found that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the U.S. respondents it surveyed thought the media treatment of Hart was "unfair." A little over half (53 percent) responded that marital infidelity had little to do with a president's ability to govern.

Not everyone was impressed with Hart's diatribe against the press. Television writer Paul Slansky noted that Hart had tried to deflect blame from himself for his downfall to the media, and that he offered no apology to betrayed supporters who now suddenly had to find other candidates to back. To many observers, the press conference was redolent of Richard Nixon's "Last Press Conference" of November 7, 1962, in which Nixon blamed the media for his loss in the 1962 California gubernatorial election. Hart, in fact, received a letter from Nixon himself commending him for "handling a very difficult situation uncommonly well" [ cite news|publisher=The New York Times|title=Nixon, Dixon and Hart|date=1987-07-16
] .

In December 1987, Hart returned to the race, declaring "Let's let the people decide!" He competed in the New Hampshire primary and received 4,888 votes, approximately four percent. After the Super Tuesday contests on March 8, he withdrew from the campaign a second time.

Later career

After his Senate service and presidential races, Hart resumed his law practice. He remained moderately active in politics, serving on the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorism, 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 many were not implemented until after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

He earned a D.Phil. in Politics degree at St Antony's College, Oxford University in 2001.

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 Democrat John Kerry won the presidency. He was considered a top candidate for either Director of National Intelligence, Secretary of Homeland Security, or Secretary of Defense. He is still considered a leading contender for the intelligence job if Barack Obama wins the 2008 presidential election.Fact|date=June 2008

Since May 2005 he has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. It was announced in January 2006 that Hart will hold an endowed professorship at the University of Colorado.

He is the author of "James Monroe", part of the Times Books series on the American presidents, ISBN 0-8050-6960-7, published in October 2005.

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.

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." He goes on to suggest that the Bush-Cheney administration is waiting for an opportunity to attack Iran -- "Don't give a certain vice president we know the justification he is seeking to attack your country."

Hart linked American energy policy with national security in an [ essay] published in "5280", the Denver city magazine, in November 2007. 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.

He and his wife, Lee, are residents of Kittredge, Colorado.


*Under The Eagle's Wing: A National Security Strategy of the United States for 2009 (Speaker's Corner, 2008);
*The Courage of Our Convictions: A Manifesto for Democrats by Gary Hart (Time Books/Henry Holt, 2006);
*The Shield and The Cloak: The Security of the Commons (Oxford University Press, 2006);
*God and Caesar in America: an essay on religion and politics (Fulcrum Books, 2005);
*The Presidency of James Monroe, in the American Presidency series edited by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (Time Books/Henry Holt, 2005);
*The Fourth Power: a new grand strategy for the United States in the 21st century (Oxford University Press, 2004);
*Restoration of the Republic: the Jeffersonian Ideal in 21st Century America (2002), for which he received a D. Phil. degree from Oxford University;
*The Minuteman: Restoring an Army of the People (1998);
*The Patriot: An Exhortation to Liberate America from the Barbarians (1996);
*The Good Fight: The Education of an American Reformer (a New York Times Notable Book) (1995);
*Russia Shakes the World: The Second Russian Revolution (1991);
*A New Democracy : new approaches to the challenges of the 1980s (1986);
*America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform (1985);
*Right from the Start: A Chronicle of the McGovern Campaign (1973);

Four novels:
*I, Che Guevara (2000)(under the pseudonym John Blackthorn)
*Sins of the Fathers (1999)(under the pseudonym John Blackthorn)
*The Strategies of Zeus (1985)
*The Double Man (with former Senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen, 1984)

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". [ [ "Gary Hart comes out: The former Senator and ex-presidential candidate reveals that he's thriller writer John Blackthorn"] by Andrew Ferguson, January 17, 2000, CNN]

Electoral history

Colorado United States Senate election, 1974 (Democratic primary) [ [ Our Campaigns - CO US Senate - D Primary Race - Sep 10, 1974 ] ] :
*Gary Hart - 81,161 (39.92%)
*Herrick S. Roth - 66,819 (32.86%)
*Martin P. Miller - 55,339 (27.22%)

Colorado United States Senate election, 1974 [ [ Our Campaigns - CO US Senate Race - Nov 05, 1974 ] ]
*Gary Hart (D) - 471,688 (57.23%)
*Peter H. Dominick (R) (inc.) - 325,526 (39.50%)
*John M. King (I) - 16,131 (1.96%)
*Joseph Fred Hyskell (Prohibition) - 8,404 (1.02%)
*Henry John Olshaw (Independent American) - 2,394 (0.29%)

Colorado United States Senate election, 1980 [ [ Our Campaigns - CO US Senate Race - Nov 04, 1980 ] ] :
* Gary Hart (D) (inc.) - 590,501 (50.34%)
* Mary E. Buchanan (R) - 571,295 (48.70%)
* Earl Higgerson (Prohibition) - 7,265 (0.62%)
* Henry John Olshaw (I) - 4,081 (0.35%)

1984 Democratic presidential primaries [ [ Our Campaigns - US President - D Primaries Race - Feb 20, 1984 ] ] :
* Walter Mondale - 6,952,912 (38.32%)
* Gary Hart - 6,504,842 (35.85%)
* Jesse Jackson - 3,282,431 (18.09%)
* John Glenn - 617,909 (3.41%)
* George McGovern - 334,801 (1.85%)
* Unpledged delegates - 146,212 (0.81%)
* Lyndon LaRouche - 123,649 (0.68%)
* Reubin O'Donovan Askew - 52,759 (0.29%)
* Alan Cranston - 51,437 (0.28%)
* Ernest Hollings - 33,684 (0.19%)

1984 Democratic National Convention [ [ Our Campaigns - US President - D Convention Race - Jul 16, 1984 ] ] :
* Walter Mondale - 2,191 (56.41%)
* Gary Hart - 1,201 (30.92%)
* Jesse Jackson - 466 (12.00%)
* Thomas Eagleton - 18 (0.46%)
* George McGovern - 4 (0.10%)
* John Glenn - 2 (0.05%)
* Joe Biden - 1 (0.03%)
* Martha Kirkland - 1 (0.03%)

1988 Democratic presidential primaries [ [ Our Campaigns - US President - D Primaries Race - Feb 01, 1988 ] ] :
*Michael Dukakis - 9,898,750 (42.47%)
*Jesse Jackson - 6,788,991 (29.13%)
*Al Gore - 3,185,806 (13.67%)
*Dick Gephardt - 1,399,041 (6.00%)
*Paul M. Simon - 1,082,960 (4.65%)
*Gary Hart - 415,716 (1.78%)
*Unpledged delegates - 250,307 (1.07%)
*Bruce Babbitt - 77,780 (0.33%)
*Lyndon LaRouche - 70,938 (0.30%)
*David Duke - 45,289 (0.19%)
*James Traficant - 30,879 (0.13%)
*Douglas Applegate - 25,068 (0.11%)

1988 Democratic National Convention [ [ Our Campaigns - US President - D Convention Race - Jul 18, 1988 ] ] :
*Michael Dukakis - 2,877 (70.09%)
*Jesse Jackson - 1,219 (29.70%)
*Richard Stallings - 3 (0.07%)
*Joe Biden - 2 (0.05%)
*Dick Gephardt - 2 (0.05%)
*Lloyd Bentsen - 1 (0.02%)
*Gary Hart - 1 (0.02%)

ee also

*Atari Democrat


*Clinton, Bill (2005). "My Life". Vintage. ISBN 1-4000-3003-X.

External links

*Source material: [ Biographical Database of the U.S. Congress: HART, Gary Warren, 1936-]
* [,10987,995924,00.html?internalid=related Time Magazine Gary Hart comes out.]
* [ Senator Gary Hart Challenges the Unholy Alliance of 'Faith' and Government]
* [ Transcript and audio of interview with Hart] conducted by Democracy Now!
* [,%20Gary Video interviews/conversations with Hart] by Robert Wright of

NAME=Hart, Gary Warren
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Hartpence, Gary Warren (birth name); Blackthorn, John (pen name)
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Democratic politician from Colorado
DATE OF BIRTH=November 28, 1936
PLACE OF BIRTH=Ottawa, Kansas

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