I don't believe Gary Hart was ruined by "scandal", per se.
First, he supported a very unpopular, but I think kinda OK,
50 cent/gal tax on gasoline. When gas about $1/ gal (including
taxes). This made the unsure very unsure.
Only second did he publicly claim something like he
would never cheat/ have an affair ... and reporters are welcome
to follow him ... and then he did have an affair and it was
seen by the reporters who followed him.
It wasn't even so much hypocrisy, like Bennett's critics of his
(because his gambling) moralizing -- it was Hart's public "lie".
"I am honest, no affairs, you can follow me" ... what a joke.
I actually think this was most like George I "read my lips" ...
followed by a tax increase, and a total loss of credibility.
And as I write this, the flap about WMDs is because Bush II, and Blair,
essentially guaranteed that Iraq had them. Not finding them becomes
a threat to their ability to guarantee anything; no trust, no vote.
Clinton's scandal(s) did not materially affect his supporter's trust
in him on the issues.
Steve Miller wrote:
> Maybe what angers voters is not the scandal, but hypocrisy. Someone who is
> perceived as "liberal" on social issues is less of a hypocrite for having an
> affair than is someone who runs on a "family values" platform.
Gary Hart was a liberal in good standing, but he is the textbook case of
a politician ruined by a scandal. Clinton is probably a bigger
hypocrite given his effort to co-opt the family values stuff.
Prof. Bryan Caplan