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Hart and Soul

Gary Hart's New Hampshire Odyssey and Beyond

Susan Berry Casey

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Stunning Political Upset. The long forgotten story of Gary Hart's 1984 stunning upset victory over Walter Mondale in the New Hampshire Democratic primary is much more than a political story. It is the moving story of ordinary people out to change the world and one man who inspired them to try.New Hampshire Primary. The New Hampshire primary holds a special place in the history of presidential elections, and continues to be a unique political and cultural phenomenon that regularly defies the common political wisdoms of the day. And the defiance of conventional political wisdom was never more telling than in 1984. Hart and Soul. Hart and Soul is the untold story of teachers and factory workers, housewives and college students who realized and exercised their political power in the selection of the president of the United States.Always Unexpected Drama. New Hampshire voters treasure their role in the primary process, especially when they do the unexpected and fool a lot of people. In 1968, Gene McCarthy, an unknown, esoteric Minnesota senator, did so well in conservative New Hampshire that the then sitting president decided to end his bid for reelection. In 1972 it was in New Hampshire that Edmund Muskie, the front-runner and fellow New Englander, the inevitable Democratic nominee, began to crumble. Who would have thought that the New Hampshire voters would have turned their backs on their neighbor from Maine? In 1976, Jimmy Carter, an unknown Georgia peanut farmer, a southerner, began his rise to prominence and the White House with a win in New Hampshire. It makes no sense. In 1980, George Bush came out of Iowa with the big “mo” and seemed unstoppable, until Reagan ambushed him in Nashua, New Hampshire, and burst that balloon for good.And then came Gary Hart and 1984—or more accurately, 1982, for that is when the action began.I thought about it a lot. It's a long-shot, dark-horse, uphill battle; the odds are long. But all signals seemed to be go. Not that if you run, you're going to win, but it's worth a try.     Gary Hart Inside, Untold Story. Although the New Hampshire primary process allows, even encourages, rank-and-file voters to become as deeply involved as they choose, for many months it is primarily an insider’s game played by a few hundred people. In 1982, 1983 and 1984, the author was one of those insiders involved in the campaign of Senator Gary Hart of Colorado. She was there when the process began, through the dark days of 1983 and the days of glory in February of 1984. And she was there at the end, during the final weeks of the primary season in June and the final day in July at the Democratic National Convention.Ordinary People, Extraordinary Story. This is not, however, her story or simply a story of the New Hampshire primary. Nor is it fundamentally a political story, for what happened in New Hampshire during the 1984 presidential primary campaign has very little to do with the everyday experiences of most politicians or most voters. The New Hampshire primary and the story of Gary Hart’s 1984 campaign provide the backdrop for a story of ordinary people caught up in an extraordinary process. And it is the story of Gary Hart, a farm boy from Kansas, who seemingly came from nowhere to within inches of winning the Democratic presidential nomination. It is the story of how the election of a president hinged on the efforts of ordinary people, and in the end, was lost as those voices became lost.



New Hampshire primary, campaigns and elections, Democratic presidential primaries, Gary Hart campaign, Gary Hart, campaign memoir, political campaign, presidential campaigns, presidential election, 1984 Democratic primary