Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Hart: Clinton Has Obligation to Talk

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Hart: Clinton Has Obligation to Talk

Article excerpt

If you were a journalist and looking for a story, it couldn't have been better: Here was Gary Hart - the same Gary Hart whose presidential ambitions were drowned on the good ship "Monkey Business" - dropping by to talk to the Monitor's breakfast group.

Mr. Hart's politically fatal mishap came back in 1987 when his presidential bid evaporated after he challenged reporters to follow him and they caught him in an extramarital dalliance.

Hart was here to push his new book, "The Minuteman," where he urges a restructuring of our military in which the US would "restore a citizen military - a true militia, like the one that defended Lexington and Concord." We could see that this was a valuable book, coming as it does from a man who has been regarded as quite a military thinker ever since he served on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He says he hopes his suggestion will ignite a great debate over what should be done with our post-cold war defenses. It just might do that. But - and who is going to be surprised over this? - we journalists soon learned all we needed to know about Hart's military vision and turned our questioning to the subject of sex and the presidency. Hart really didn't want to talk about those embarrassing moments. But he said he knew that this was the "price" he would have to pay for going before a press group in order to promote his book. Hart, who had dealt very openly with the scandal that suddenly enveloped him a decade ago, seemed less than supportive of the president's failure to provide an explanation for what is called the Lewinsky matter. Someone asked, "Is Clinton's lack of disclosure working?" And Hart said, "Yes, in the short term it is working. But it's like he's in the fight of his life." Then, referring to his own response, he reminded us that, "I apologized to all of America" at the time. …

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