I hope he doesn't mind my saying so, but I think Gary Hart is campaigning the wrong way. By insisting on discussing the issues and not his private life, he is losing votes and alienating the majority of the country.
If he is serious about coming back, this is what he should be saying when he holds an impromptu press conference on a cold and windy street corner in New Hampshire:
"Senator Hart, can you give us some idea how you would solve the problem of the worst budget deficit in history?"
"I will not discuss public issues publicly. The country's deficit happens to be a private matter between myself and my wife. Why don't you ask me serious questions about Donna Rice?"
"Gary, don't you think it's your duty as a candidate to reveal what you intend to do about the 'Star Wars' program, which will cost the nation billions of dollars?"
"It's nobody's business what I plan do about SDI. I will answer your questions about Bimini and Miami, but don't try to get me to tell you about my defense strategies. It has nothing to do with why I am in New Hampshire."
"Mr. Hart, don't you believe the public has a right to know where you stand on Social Security?"
"No. I am prepared to answer any questions you have on my philandering, but my thoughts as to how I feel about Social Security will remain in my bedroom."
"Senator Hart, since you got back in the race, everyone has been talking about your position vis-a`-vis farm subsidies. Are we to assume that you will back farm subsidies if you become president?"
"I never said I would back farm subsidies. This is something the media made up. My family is furious with the innuendos you people have printed that I favor more acreage for soybeans than I do for alfalfa. Everyone makes mistakes and I have admitted mine. Now I'll be happy to take questions as to where Donna Rice slept when she came to Washington."
"Senator, I think you're trying to change the subject. We, as responsible newspaper people, want to know if you will ask for a new tariff on pig iron and steel to stop the flooding of foreign metal to these shores."
"I do not have to answer that question. Why don't you ask if there were any other women in my life besides you-know-who?"
"With all due respect, senator, that is not news. Our job is to inquire about your attitude toward improving relations between the United States and Norway."
"There you go again. How would you like it if someone asked you if you had had relations with Norway? I've got to get my campaign on the track again, and you people refuse to let me do it. If you really want to be fair, why don't you print pictures of me on the Monkey Business? I'll tell you why -- because it would ruin the one story you all have on your minds, which is politics."
"How can we find out where you stand on the issues if you insist they are private matters?"
"Follow me around. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead, but they will be very bored."
"Does that include day-care centers, Mr. Hart?"
"I don't have to answer that question. But I will answer anything you want to ask me about my trip to Las Vegas."
"Could we talk about where you see America going?"
"When you ask me that I only become angry and defiant. Why are you all so obsessed with political trivia? The only thing the voters are interested in is what a man does in his personal life."
If you follow this script, Gary, they can't lay a finger on you.