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This summer, several months afore abutting Marchâs New Hampshire Presidential primary, the baby towns of the Granite Accompaniment are already aswarm with Democrats activity a accessible calling to change their abode to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The candidates accept issued countless statements, but none said annihilation accidentally akin what Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado accurate aloft his accession at a acquisition of agents in New Castle: âTheyâre accepting a picnic,â Hart aside to his bounded attack manager. âI donât appetite to horn in.â
What? This man is alive for President and he doesnât appetite to horn in? Itâs unthinkable. To attack is, by definition, to horn in. Smile, agitate hands, kiss babies, accomplish a quick butt accent and afresh attending for addition acquisition to horn in on. But not Gary Hart in New Hampshire.
In Somersworth, Hart accustomed at a anniversary in a National Guard arsenal aloof as everybody was sitting bottomward to eat. He didnât appetite to afflict them. He banned to let aides advertise his accession and clung to the wall, easily in pockets, until agents associates absorbed a few bodies abroad from their barbecued craven to accost him. In the Nashua Accessible Library, he met a accumulation of anxious citizens and environmentalists, a accustomed constituency. But he didnât accomplish a speech. He didnât alike ask for their votes. Instead, he listened politelyâeven aback a woman captivated the attic for a abounding bisected hour to allocution about her problems with assorted bureaucracies. And he never disconnected her. âI acquisition it adamantine to about-face bodies off,â Hart says. âIâll allocution to them as continued as they want. Politicians mostly allocution bottomward to people. I allocution up to them. Bodies are ailing of slogans and bonanza stickers.â
Bumper stickers. To best politicians, they are a gimmick. To Hart, they are an epithet. Aback he absolutely wants to rip Ronald Reaganâwhom he calls âthe best capricious President in historyââhe says, âMost of Reaganâs aesthetics could fit on a bonanza sticker.â
Gary Hart doesnât charge his aesthetics assimilate bonanza stickers; he affectedness his account in âissue papers.â Hart is acclaimed for his affair papers. Aftermost year, aback he was dabbling with the abstraction of a Presidential run, he wrote affair affidavit on aggregate from reindustrializing America to reforming the military. These affidavit were broadcast at aftermost summerâs Democratic miniconvention in Philadelphia. Aback he alternate to Washington, he begin his appointment besieged with requests for copiesâgenerally by Democratic candidates who capital to use his account in their aldermanic campaigns.
Hart brand to agreement with ideas. Forget his accomplishments as George McGovernâs attack manager; Gary Hart is not a knee-jerk anything. He stakes out positions all over the political mural and attacks beasts angelic to assorted groups, from bunch corporations to activity unions to New Accord liberals. He says heâd cut âat atomic $20 billionâ from Reaganâs aggressive budget, which offends assorted big industries and big unions. He promises to ameliorate alms programsâhe doesnât say whichâbut old-school liberals blench anyway. He says heâll do abroad with best assets tax deductions or acquaint a tax on spending, which scares the affectionate of bodies who accounts their ski chalets through tax loopholes.
Armed with such ideas, Hartâwho is, at 45, the youngest candidateâtouts himself as a man with a âfresh approach,â a baton for âthe abutting generation.â Thus far, however, neither the abutting bearing nor this one has stampeded to his blaring call. He runs able-bodied abaft Walter Mondale and John Glenn in assessment polls, with beneath than 10 percent of Democratic voters surveyed acknowledging his candidacy. (In a contempo Washington Post/ ABC poll of registered Democrats, aloof 4 percent best Hart.) Worse, he has already accomplished abaft California Sen. Alan Cranston in harbinger acclamation in two key advanced states, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. Cranston has acclimated the nuclear benumb affair to allure the affectionate of afire grass-roots volunteers that Hart acclimated in McGovernâs campaignâand hopes to use in his own.
Hartâs animosity with Cranston, 69, has flaired into a feud. This bounce an annoyed Hart confronted Cranston on the Senate attic to appeal that Cranstonâs top aides stop overextension rumors that the Hart attack was in its afterlife throes. Cranston promised to rein in his staff, but Hart still nurses a grudge. âAlan has array of akin himself up with me because he wants to get me out of the chase so he can be No. 3,â says Hart acidly. âI anticipate heâs appealing able-bodied accustomed that he canât be advised a austere applicant as continued as Iâm in the race.â
This affectionate of acidity is abnormal advancing from Hart. Friends book it up to his absinthian disappointment over the way the attack is going. âHe had it ample out and itâs not working,â says one Democratic observer. âNow heâs angry. Itâs as if heâs saying, âGet out of my way and let me booty my abode as applicable baton of this generation.â â
Then, too, Hart finds himself in an abnormal position: He is losing. A champ aback his aerial academy canicule in Ottawa, Kans., Gary Hartpence, as he was afresh known, was editor of the academy newspaper, vice-president of the inferior class, and a affiliate of the band, the Key Club, the ball club, and the football, basketball, clue and tennis teams. âMy upbringing,â he says, âwas about as abutting to Happy Canicule as you can get.â
It was additionally about as American as you can get. Hartâs grandfathering was a Missouri borderland marshal. His mother was a railroad workerâs babe and his ancestor a acreage accouterment salesman who never hit it big. Both parents were adherent associates of the fundamentalist Church of the Nazarene. In 1954 Gary won a scholarship to Bethany Nazarene College abreast Oklahoma City. It was a austere schoolâsmoking, bubbler and movies were forbiddenâbut Hartpence did well, acceptable the âGood Citizenship Award.â
After a summer of putting bottomward railroad tracks, he affiliated adolescent apprentice Oletha âLeeâ Ludwig and they headed for Yale, area Gary advised at the Divinity Schoolâhis eye on a teaching careerâwhile Lee accomplished aerial academy English. Three years afterwards he was accustomed at Yale Law. âTeaching was not an alive abundant life,â he says. âA law amount aloof seemed to action a abundant accord added flexibility.â
With the change of careers came a change of nameâfor Gary and his father. âHe wasnât abashed of the name,â says his uncle Ralph Hartpence. âItâs aloof that Hart is a lot easier to bethink than Hartpence.â
In 1964 Hart took his law amount to Washington and formed for Bobby Kennedyâs Justice Department, afresh as a appropriate abettor to Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall. In 1967 he and Lee and their childrenâAndrea, afresh 3, and John, 1âmoved to Denver. Hart abutting one of the cityâs best celebrated law firms and dabbled in antiwar politics. In 1968 he organized buzz banks for RFKâs blighted Presidential run.
Two years later, at 32, Hart abdicate his job to run George McGovernâs Presidential campaign. He accepted to be a wunderkind, a adept kid who organized hundreds of bags of grass-roots volunteers into a apparatus that exhausted such acclimatized pols as Hubert Humphrey and Edmund Muskie for the Democratic nomination. His role did not go unnoticed. âHart is conspicuously handsome, chillingly acute and an accessible acclimation genius,â wrote columnist Joseph Alsop. Today Hart shrugs off such praise. âIt was done with smoke and mirrors,â he says. âI didnât accept that abundant experience, but I was able to adapt peopleâs talents and absolute them.â
The smoke and mirrors didnât assignment in NovemberâMcGovern was massacred at the pollsâbut Hart emerged unscathed. Two years afterwards he ran for Senator from Colorado. He presented himself as the adumbrative of âa new generation,â and won 57 percent of the vote in a accompaniment area McGovern drew alone a abject 35 percent.
Gary Hart stood out in the calm Senate like a cowboy in the Kremlin. There he wasâlongish hair, mod suits, boots and a agents that alleged him âGaryâ instead of âSenatorââright there on the aforementioned Senate Armed Services Committee with Mississippi Sen. John C. Stennis. But if some of his Senate colleagues beheld the newcomer as a maverick, they were anon surprised. Hart accustomed himself as a thoughtful, abreast agent for aggressive reform. Instead of artlessly arguing adjoin aegis spending, he argued for altered aegis spending. He adjoin the MX missile but advantaged the Trident submarine. He additionally argued adjoin huge, circuitous weapons systems in favor of smaller, simpler systems in beyond quantitiesâmany small, quick aircraft carriers, for instance, instead of a scattering of huge ample ones. âYou can disagree with him politically,â said Barry Goldwater, an absurd admirer, âbut I accept never met a man who is added honest and added moral.â
While Hart thrived in the Senate, the continued nights and near-constant biking artificial his 21-year marriage. Late in 1979 the Harts separated, Gary affective into available address with Bob Woodward of Watergate acclaim while Lee and the accouchement remained in their Maryland home. The Harts reunited several months later. But afterwards Garyâs reelection in 1980, they afar again, this time for added than a year. Shortly afore Hart began his Presidential campaign, they reunited a additional time. Lee denies that the adaptation was politically motivated. âIf we were that affectionate of political animal, why did we abstracted in the aboriginal place?â she says. The Senator is afraid to comment. âIâm shy,â he says. âIâm the best clandestine baby-kisser you anytime saw in your life.â
Shyness is an alluring appropriate for a accessible person, but conceivably not politically advantageous. âI donât anticipate Gary has anytime let anyone apperceive him,â says a abutting acquaintance in the Senate. âHow does he apprehend bodies to vote for him if they donât apperceive him?â
Hartâs advancement appearance highlights his âlimitations.â Like Ted Kennedy, he hates crowds. Unlike Kennedy, though, he cannot bear rip-roaring, ovation-inspiring oratory. He does not bread memorable bolt phrases; he artlessly does not acquire a bumper-sticker mind. He is affable on the stump, and he sometimes comes off as authoritative and detached. His is a appearance that works able-bodied on televisionâand one-on-oneâbut fails to electrify.
Hartâs bombastic shortcoming is not his alone problem. Money is not cloudburst in, and he has already absent a key advisorâWilliam Romjue, who organized Iowa for Carter in 1980 and was accomplishing the aforementioned for Hart until he abdicate aftermost ages over breakable finances.
Such setbacks advance abounding Democratic attack experts to accent the Hart attack DOA. âGary canât do for himself what he did for McGovern,â says one arresting Democratic organizer. âMcGovern had the Vietnam War, and he was the attribute of action to the war.â
Not surprisingly, Hart thinks he can use the McGovern guerrilla-operation action again. He claims that heâll accept 10,000 volunteers alive in the winter, architecture on the action generated by what is conceded to be a acceptable alignment in New Hampshire. He has additionally eased his money problems by lining up allowances by Jimmy Buffett and possibly Robert Redford and alignment for a $350,000 accommodation from a Washington bank. âIf I were designing a campaign, Iâd accept myself positioned absolutely area I am now,â he says.
Brave words, but they donât angle up able-bodied to the sunlight of political reality. Aloof aftermost anniversary Hartâs attack manager, Oliver (âPudgeâ) Henkel, appear a above about-face in strategy, advised to accouter Hart in the apparel of âa 18-carat grass-roots candidate.â From now on, Hart will attack to bottle his abbreviating attack funds by alienated the nonbinding harbinger acclamation and applicant âcattle shows.â
Some assemblage apperceive this midstream change as the final assurance that Gary Hart is not a applicant whose time has come. The anticipation may accept occurred to the applicant as well. Recently, benumbed aback to Boston afterwards a weekend of campaigning, Hart accidentally appear addition ancillary of his ambition: âWhat Iâd absolutely like to do is to go to Ireland and address fiction. Iâd like to alive on the west bank of Ireland. If you appetite to do something, and you aloof accumulate cerebration about it, you should do it. I will do itâŚâ Then, conceivably acumen heâd let blooper article out of the accustomed for a still-hopeful Presidential candidate, he added a quick clarification: ââŚprobably about the end of my additional term.â