REVIEW: "Front Runner" Gary Hart and Political Choice --- must International Relations Solver be a Moral Leader, too?

Updated 1 year ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
REVIEW:  "Front Runner" Gary Hart and Political Choice --- must International Relations Solver be a Moral Leader, too?

Senator Gary Hart had progressive problem solving governmental paradox --- one of few who untangled and proposed solutions for the world's significant quandries in the 80s. Hart entered the 1988 presidential race as a Democratic front runner. But his human flaws ---- far less than some of today's office holders. 

Hart drew a line in the sand between his political proposals and candidacy and private life. He declined to consider movie star Warren Beatty's conclusion that national leaders and Hollywood "stars" all face the bright lights in both career and family life. 

"The Front Runner" recites the downfall of a pretty boy campaigner one where (according to pundits ) his hair style counts six bonus points in opinion polls. The Colorado senator announced his campaign from one of the state's picturesque peaks, not a drab hotel conference room.

Hart  (Hugh Jackman) put a wall around his private life, pouncing into tantrums when media crossed what he determined to be a line of demarcation. That concrete standard taunted media particularly since he could be the next Chief Executive. 

Other than denials or spin, the candidate challenged media reps to stalk him; he reiterated he had nothing to hide that would impact his standing with voters. 

His challenge may have been in jest, but it proved foolhardy. The Miami news took him up on the invitation. 

Here, "The Front Runner" inserts a media executive ethics debate --- one that still reigns in elections ---- where does the boundary flow for separation of past conduct and present decisions as an equation for determining future leadership performance?

A missive from LBJ to reporters transitioning from the assassinated JFK has merit ---- the soon to be resident of the White House tells reporters he expects the same "treatment" (i.e. mostly ignoring) as that of JFK who like LBJ had plenty of ladies secretively entering and exiting the White House.

To a certain extinct, Hart's campaign came before the competitive clashes of the 24/7 news cycle. CNN was a new kid on the block, but sticking camera in the faces of those possibly involved in a 'cheating' scandal was hesitantly venturing into the "gossip" laden styles of People and US. 

For non civic and political obsessed viewers, Front Runner may seem slow and insignificant. However, this harbinger of the social and past conduct influences on candidates, families, media, and voters significantly punctuates the moral grapples that affect voting for a candidate --- often more than the governmental positions of the candidates. 

"Who wins" and who stays in the circus long enough for the voters to speak has increasingly become private detectives digging up bad stuff, rather than proposing a better plan for government than their opponent. 

And, based on the movie, Hart would have breezed through the scandals of 2016. As he defended his dalliances by comparing the 70s free sex hippie lifestyle, he stubbornly forgot that as culture alters (the free love faded due to HIV) so do norms and how they overlap in positions of power. 

Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Tully) depicts Donna Rice (Sarah Paxton  ) as a young woman caught in a swirl of innuendo. She's unprepared for the media inquisition. She's also  depicted "compassionately," as a woman striving for recognition for her business talent, even if she has to utilize her "model looks" to open doors. 

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