In early 1987, rumors began circulating about the supposed extramarital affairs of Sen. Gary Hart, the leading candidate for the 1988 Democratic nomination for President.
In response, Hart challenged the media.
He told The New York Times in an interview published on May 3, 1987, that they should follow me around. . . . They’ll be very bored.
As the NBC anchor John Chancellor explained a few days later, “We did. We weren’t.”
Seldom if ever has a major presidential candidacy crashed and burned so quickly.
On May 8, 1987, a mere five days after issuing his challenge, the Colorado senator withdrew as a candidate.
He would reenter the race the following December, but he would then withdraw a second time after winning just 4 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary in February 1988.
His political career was over.
Jim on History reviews Hart’s downfall, including a round table discussion about the situation with members of the Heath family.
WATCH: Jim on History – Gary Hart & Monkey Business: