This news segment covers the aftermath of Gary Hart's withdrawal from seeking the Democratic nomination for the 1988 presidential election. The intense media scrutiny which led to Hart's withdrawal has unsettled some of the candidates and their supporters, who question the benefit of probing so closely into the candidates' personal lives.
0:04Copy video clip URL Gary Hart dropped out of the Democratic primaries for the 1988 presidential race following a sex scandal, leaving no clear front runner in the race. Nine months before the Iowa caucus, the press is trying to determine which candidates may acquire Hart’s former supporters.
1:25Copy video clip URL In his withdrawal speech, Hart says that we should “seriously question the system for selecting our national leaders that reduces the press to hunters and presidential candidates to being hunted.” However, Ken Bode of NBC News counters that claim, saying that Hart “brought himself down by his own flaws”. Polls showed that most voters thought the press had been unfair in their probing of Hart’s sex life.
4:32Copy video clip URL Reporters and candidates were struggling to understand the implications of the media scrutiny. Candidate Paul Simon expresses concern that the increased focus on personal life to the exclusion of the candidates’ political stances. Joe Biden says the week’s events did not mean that his private life was now fair game in the press. Richard Gephardt, however, believes that the line between his private and public life dissolved when he entered the race. Bode claims that the press will not probe into a candidate’s private life without “probable cause”. Michael Dukakis says that while the long nominating process is not ideal, it is the best that we have right now.
7:58Copy video clip URL End of tape.