Why It Hurts

The murky worlds of Hart and Secord raise painful questions about what America expects of its leaders and institutions

A man running for President has a weekend off. He spends part of it entertaining a part-time actress from Miami. A newspaper stakes out his home, reports his interlude, and overnight his private life turns into a public obsession. In the relentless glare of the cameras, he testily denies that he had a sexual affair with the woman and bristles over questions about adultery. His popularity slides. Stories surface of another liaison. The candidate, the clear front runner for the Democratic nomination, describes himself as a hunted quarry and withdraws from the field, denouncing the political process.

A retired Air Force...

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