Thursday, May 19, 2011

DSK-Gary Hart Comparison

From Arun Kapil:

The DSK affair reminds me of Gary Hart in 1987. He was the Democratic front-runner in the early stages of the ’88 race and the party’s best hope to take back the White House from the Republicans. No other presumptive Dem candidate at that point could rival him. Politically speaking, Hart was very similar to DSK: moderately left-of-center, with appeal to educated voters, yuppies, centrists, and independents—and with less of an appeal to working class voters (a problem)—; smart, intellectual, and with a mastery of economic policy; and with an overall modern persona (they were also similar in some non-political respects as well, as we know…). But then Donna Rice and the Monkey Business came along, which happened so suddenly and threw the Dems into momentary disarray (including myself, as I was a Hart supporter—and very much in the minority on this among my friends at the time). But the Dems recovered quickly and ended up with a decent field of candidates for the primaries. Michael Dukakis was a perfectly fine nominee and led a good campaign until the final two months, when he made a couple of crucial mistakes and it all came apart. But Bush Sr was going to win in ’88 in any case, even if Hart had behaved himself and been the nominee. No Democrat could have defeated the GOP that year.

1 comment:

Mr Punch said...

That was my first thought as well (though I believe the '88 election was winnable for the Dems). As with Hart, I suspect that on some level DSK just didn't want to be president.