Gary Hart

Home Alone

Back in the peaceful days of late summer, Democrats were finally getting around to something they'd neglected since Bill Clinton left office: foreign policy. In August, Tom Daschle and Richard Gephardt each delivered addresses criticizing the Bush administration for its aversion to multilateralism and its obsession with missile defense. A few weeks later, Senator Joe Biden did the same at the National Press Club. Previewing Biden's speech that morning, the Los Angeles Times explained that congressional Democrats had begun a prolonged "assault on the Bush administration's defense and foreign po

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Pro-Choice

All last week, moralizing pundits urged New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to drop out of the New York Senate race because his personal life had become extraordinarily embarrassing. I don't know whether he will take their advice; at press time, he said he was inclined to run. For the sake of the nation, he should. Giuliani has given us the first pristine example of adultery in the post-Gary Hart era, uncluttered by the usual ginned-up secondary charges of perjury, abuse of power, and hypocrisy.

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First Returns

Hendrik Hertzberg comments on the 1988 campaign.

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Cool Hand Duke

Michael Dukakis’s message to the Democratic Party is neither epic nor apocalyptic. He is not promising, like Joe Biden, to restore John F. Kennedy's spiritual days of glory or, like Richard Gephardt, to save the nation from impending economic serfdom to the Japanese and South Koreans.

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Sporting News

Summer's almost here, and the Celtics are in the playoffs. Thanks to my friend Barry Kaplovitz, who has season tickets, I'm in the front row at Boston Garden, maybe ten feet behind the backboard. Professional basketball is a beautiful game, full of flowing patterns and joyous jumping. Seeing it this close up one is electrified by the sheer physicality of it. The guards dart and dance; the tall centers loom like Easter Island statues. Kaplovitz is a political and marketing consultant who thinks the Gary Hart story was a press atrocity.

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Sluicegate

The Gary Hart scandal shows the press at its worst.

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NOT SO LONG ago, intellectuals seemed to be the most picked-on weaklings in the school yard of American politics. When George Wallace ran for president in 1972, he blamed "pointy-headed intellectuals" for everything from rising crime and changing sexual mores to busing and the stalemate in Vietnam. Vice President Spiro Agnew had exploited the same theme in 1970 when he attacked the country's "effete corps of impudent snobs," those "nattering nabobs of negativism" who opposed the Nixon administration. Two decades earlier the vocabulary was different but the mood was similar.

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NOT SO LONG ago, intellectuals seemed to be the most picked-on weaklings in the school yard of American politics. When George Wallace ran for president in 1972, he blamed "pointy-headed intellectuals" for everything from rising crime and changing sexual mores to busing and the stalemate in Vietnam. Vice President Spiro Agnew had exploited the same theme in 1970 when he attacked the country's "effete corps of impudent snobs," those "nattering nabobs of negativism" who opposed the Nixon administration. Two decades earlier the vocabulary was different but the mood was similar.

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Jerseygate

 We have reached a political nadir of some sort if the Democratic Party candidate for the leadership of the free world is chosen on the basis of a casual remark about New Jersey. Yet it seems possible history will record that Gary Hart lost his chance to be President when he stood with his wife, Lee, on a Los Angeles terrace and uttered these fateful words: “The deal is that we campaign separately; that’s the bad news.

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Home Truths

About two weeks ago President Reagan was in Texas, and while here he said we ought to consider abolishing the deductibility of home interest from our taxes. . . . That I believe is the worst single idea around in tax law. . . . That is the only deduction that is in the tax law at all that does any good at all for the average American. Thus Walter Mondale in the Dallas candidates' debate May 2, using his signature rhetorical device of whiny hyperbole ("worst single idea...only deduction...any good at all") to exploit a recent Reagan gaffe.

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