WASHINGTON — Well, it is not all bad news! Official Washington has unveiled its presidential candidate for 2020, and he will be every bit as effective as the Democrats running for the House of Representatives and the Senate were yesterday. He was chosen by official Washington's kingmaker this past Sunday on the op-ed page of The New York Times, Maureen Dowd. He is 81 years old, and he will be 83 when he enters office. He already run for the presidency twice in the 1980s, so he is no ingenue at this game. He ran on New Ideas back in the 1980s, so this time around they will be Very New Ideas, such as socialism and vegetarianism, and maybe he will have a gender reconfiguration, or whatever they will be calling it by 2020.
The candidate chosen by Boss Dowd is Gary Hart, whom she introduced to her readers as "a tall man with white hair, granite features, black jeans," etc., etc. Granite features do not mean that Hart is a stone head. Take la Dowd's word for it; he is an intellectual. But then again, are not all Democrats intellectuals? I think he plays a guitar and tweets. He is so active on his Tweeter account that he supplements his diet of meat and potatoes with birdseed. It helps him tweet. You can tell he resorts to birdseed by the whiteness of his hair.
At any rate, he is off and running and has the blessing of The Times and Dowd, who likes him because he is a man, a Real Man. What is more, he is a man who puts women in mind of former President John F. Kennedy. He has been doing this since at least the mid-1980s, possibly earlier. That is one reason he changed his name from Hartpence (as it appeared on his baptismal documents) to Hart (as it appears on his driver's license). The name change enhances his Kennedyesque presence, or maybe I should say his Kennedyesque charisma.
Some of you younger Democrats might not recall Hart, or I should say former Sen. Hart. He was for a period of time, from 1975 to 1987, a senator from ... as I recall, it was New Mexico, or maybe Colorado. No, I think it was New Mexico. That is a more intellectual and artistic place to come from, and who will remember after all these years anyway? Sen. Hart or Hartpence — take your pick. You are a Democrat, and you Democrats pretty much make the rules in this country.
Boss Dowd adjudges Hart a shoo-in, and on that I am afraid I have to part company with her. As I recall, the only thing the former senator has had in common with JFK is that both of them carried a comb in their pockets, and Hart, as I recall, had a small can of hair spray with him.
But do you remember, Mr. Hart, back in early 1988, as you were gearing up for your second presidential run, a Washington Post columnist reported my claim that "Gary Hart, of course, wears a toupee"? The writer, Chuck Conconi, reported that Parade magazine contacted Hart headquarters inquiring as to whether I was right. The campaign denied that its candidate was glabrous, and Conconi sought my response. He quoted me: "Who do you trust, Gary Hart or me?" Point made.
To return to your prospects for 2020, notwithstanding la Dowd's gushings, in your two fruitless campaigns of the 1980s, you put audiences to sleep. Contrary to Dowd, you were not sweeping the field, and Bob Novak reports in his memoirs that unlike JFK, you were not even amusing in private, though on that last point I may be judging you rashly. Your second race ended abruptly when you were discovered with a cutie in your townhouse who was not your wife, and was there not something about a tryst on the aptly named yacht Monkey Business? Several years later, I met the lady, and she was very attractive and a lively conversationalist. Now she has become an evangelical Christian and, so I am told, a fan of Donald Trump.
Now you have told Ms. Dowd: "I bear a very heavy burden of responsibility. ... If all that stuff had not happened and if I had been elected, there would have been no gulf war. H.W. wouldn't have been president. W. wouldn't have been president. Everything would have changed. I don't say that to aggrandize myself. It's just, history changed."
You seem to think American history without you at the center of it has been somehow defective. So does The New York Times. I take Ms. Dowd's report on you as another example of "fake news."
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author, most recently, of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.