Party joke or morality tale? New film re-examines Gary Hart
The Gary Hart saga of 1987 is barely remembered by many today, and seen largely as a sad political footnote, even an unfortunate joke.
Makers of “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman as the Colorado senator who once seemed on a golden path to the presidency, argue that Hart’s story was hardly a joke. They say it was actually a watershed moment for American politics, journalism and culture, when politicians became celebrities and their private lives became public business. And, they say, it remains deeply relevant today.
Hart was heavily favored for the Democratic nomination, and would have faced George H.W. Bush in 1988. But he was felled by rumors of an affair with a young woman, Donna Rice. Neither Hart nor Rice have ever confirmed an affair.