- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2003

Former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart has begun asking for money as he continues exploring the idea of another run for president.

"He's giving it serious consideration," said his spokesman, Jack Sparks.

Mr. Hart has been travelling the country in recent weeks giving policy speeches, mostly on college campuses. In January, he posted a Web site featuring pictures of American flags, a bald eagle and purple mountains.

Mr. Hart will begin taking money as early as this week, Mr. Sparks said, though the Web site already urges people to donate online.

"He's gotten a very positive response. It's been heartening," Mr. Sparks said, though nobody has yet taken Mr. Hart up on his offer to donate online.

A biography posted on the site says that, "In an era of career politicians, Gary Hart has chosen a road less travelled, devoting himself first and foremost to public service and the good of his country."

Left unmentioned is that Mr. Hart's "less-travelled road" included a photograph of him on the boat "Monkey Business" with model Donna Rice seated on his lap. It was that episode that drove a married Mr. Hart out of politics. At the time, he was the front-runner for the 1988 Democratic nomination for president.

More recently, Mr. Hart has been widely noted for his service on the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, which warned of America's vulnerability to terrorist attacks before the September 11 attacks.

In his travels, Mr. Hart gets few questions about his earlier indiscretions, Mr. Sparks said.

"People don't ask about that," he said. "People are more concerned about the pending war."

Mr. Hart's Web site quotes him saying, "My greatest fear is never having another opportunity to serve my country." Mr. Hart was travelling this week and could not be reached for comment.

Dante Scala, a political science professor at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., doubts Mr. Hart will make much of a splash, despite his big showing in New Hampshire in 1984.

"Now that Al Gore is not getting into the race, I don't know who will come in and redefine the race," he said. "But it's certainly not Gary Hart.

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