Gary Hart has consistently trod the unbeaten path. As a young Denver attorney, he hooked up with George McGovern, the darkest of dark horses, and together rewrote the book on how to win the Democratic nomination. Two years later, Hart ran for the US Senate from Colorado, a state where Nixon had crushed McGovern two years before. He rode the post-Watergate Democratic tidal wave and entered the Senate at the tender age of 37. In 1984, Hart’s own presidential insurgency nearly knocked off Walter Mondale as he challenged Democrats to look to the future instead of their past.
By crafting a candidacy based on “the new,” Hart discovered the door which others, like Clinton and Obama, successfully opened in later contests. Walter Mondale, on the other hand, represented the past and became a forlorn caricature that Republicans were able to lampoon to a 49 state win. Continue reading