| Gary Hart |
(politician, diplomat, lawyer)
|Born||Gary Warren Hartpence|
November 28, 1936
Ottawa, Kansas, U.S.
|Alma mater||Southern Nazarene University, Yale Divinity School, St Antony's College (Oxford)|
|Member of||Church Committee, Council on Foreign Relations/Members, Truman Center for National Policy|
|Victim of||character assassination|
Democrat presidential candidate exposed in extramarital scandal after calling for reopening of JFK assassination investigation. "And I think that I signed my death warrant when I did that. I didn't realize at the time...but I think what happened to me in 1987 was a pure setup."
Gary Warren Hart is an American politician, diplomat, and lawyer. He was the front-runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination until he dropped out amid revelations of extramarital affairs. He represented Colorado in the United States Senate from 1975 to 1987. He was a member of the Church Committee.
In 1985 Hart and William S. Cohen, another member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, published the novel Double Man. According to Bob Woodward: "This is an expertly crafted thriller that is full of many uncomfortable plausibilities. Though clearly labeled fiction, it dances knowledgeably with many old and new ghosts, including the CIA, the KGB, the Kennedy assassination, terrorism, and a range of state secrets. The Double Man has to be taken, minimally, as a grim warning about the intelligence services in our own country and elsewhere."
Set up in sex scandal
Hart was knocked out of the 1988 Democratic nomination race when the press exposed his affair with model Donna Rice, after Miami Herald reporters hid in bushes outside his Washington home to catch him in the act. Armed with a comical photo of the candidate cavorting with the blonde beauty on a yacht appropriately named Monkey Business, the press soon pummeled Hart's career into the dirt.
When he was asked about the Kennedy assassination during his 1984 and 1988 presidential runs, Hart said "I would tell the press that, based on my Church Committee experience, I believe there are sufficient doubts to justify reopening the files of the CIA, particularly in relation with the Mafia. And I think that I signed my death warrant when I did that. I didn't realize at the time...but I think what happened to me in 1987 was a pure setup. I think what people discovered then was you can assassinate somebody without using a bullet". Hart said he received tips after the scandal broke that suggested a possible Mafia involvement in the Monkey Business affair. A prominent investigative reporter told Hart that after he began calling for a new JFK probe, close associates of Florida godfather Santos Trafficante expressed their strong displeasure with the senator. "we don't think [Hart's] any better than the Kennedys", one of the mobsters told the reporter.
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. T
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.