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Gary Hart(pence) – 1984

Feeding Frenzy With an upset victory over former vice president Walter F. Mondale in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Colorado Sen. Gary Hart became the wonder boy of 1984 politics, causing reporters and voters to ask, "Who is Gary Hart?"

Some of the answers were perplexing: Hart had shortened his name (from Hartpence), shaved a year off his age, and changed his signature several times. Hart compounded his problems by offering vague or misleading explanations for the alterations, leaving the truth to be discovered piecemeal by investigative reporters for a dozen newspapers and magazines.

The disclosures gave many voters pause, taking some of the luster off his rising star.

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© Copyright 1998 Larry J. Sabato

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