It’s amazing that anyone wants to run for political office. The moment someone declares their candidacy, their entire life goes under the microscope. Just ask Gary Hart. His bid for the White House in 1987 is the subject of the new movie The Front Runner.
If you need a refresher, Gary Hart represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate from 1975 to 1987. He was considered to be the front-runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination until he dropped out over allegations of an extramarital affair with Donna Rice. It was an explosive scandal that shifted the dynamic between politicians and the press.
Up until the moment that news of the alleged affair broke, we didn’t hear or read nearly as much about the private lives of people in politics as much as we do today. Nothing is off limits now. The Gary Hart story also made it clear that facts could stretched and twisted to suit the needs of the media as well as an opponent’s agenda.
The Front Runner stars Hugh Jackman as Gary Hart. The cast also includes Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Sara Paxton, and Alfred Molina. Ironically, the film opens in theaters on Election Day (11/6) at a time in American politics when almost nothing shocks us anymore.