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Where Are They Now: Gary Hart

With the media focused on a sex scandal involving a major politician with aspirations for high office, Gary Hart's name has been popping all over the place this week (such as in the L.A. Times, N.Y. Times and Newsweek).

Gary Hart
Former senator and two-time presidential candidate Gary Hart. (File photo/Getty Images)

And by coincidence, Hart was spotted in the flesh Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

A regular Sleuth informant spotted the former senator from Colorado and two-time presidential candidate at Cups, the Senate-side coffee shop, just about a half hour before all eyes turned to the television to watch New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announce his resignation -- with his wife by his side.

Ironic timing, given that the "standing-by-her-man" element has been a big part of why Hart's name has been dredged up in recent days.

Hart's wife, Lee, stood by her husband when he withdrew from the 1988 Democratic presidential primary race after his affair with model Donna Rice was exposed. (Who can forget that famous photo of Rice sitting on Hart's lap, complete with Hart sporting a "Monkey Business" t-shirt -- the name of the yacht the two lovebirds partied on.)

So what was the former senator doing in town? Nothing scandalous, we're told.

He was meeting with members of Congress to discuss nuclear proliferation issues in his capacity as chairman of the anti-WMD Council For a Livable World, according to his assistant at the University of Colorado-Denver, where Hart is a scholar in residence.

Further proving that there is a "life after" for politicians ruined by sex scandals, the former senator has written a number of books and essays since disappearing from the public's radar in 1988, including his most recent book, "Under the Eagle's Wing: A National Security Strategy for the United States: 2009."

According to his bio on the university's Web site, "Since retiring from the United States Senate, Gary Hart has been extensively involved in international law and business, as a strategic advisor to major U.S. corporations, and as a teacher, author and lecturer."

Add to that: Watching Gov. Spitzer's dramatic and highly televised controversy with a knowing eye.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  March 12, 2008; 7:15 PM ET
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