CHARLES CITY, Iowa — It wasn't a mistake the magnitude of "Dewey Defeats Truman," but the Charles City Press jumped the gun when Gary Hart bowed out as a candidate Friday and ran the headline, "Hart Changes His Mind, Still in Campaign."
Jan Butler, the paper's managing editor, whose byline appeared on the story, said the mistake was made because Hart's initial remarks were confusing.
The newspaper, which has a circulation of 3,500, had beneath its Page 1 headline a smaller headline that read: "Saying 'Quitting Is Not My Style' . . . Hart Changes His Mind, Still in Campaign."
"We were up against a deadline, and the first part of his speech sounded like he was going to continue the campaign," Butler said today. By the time the mistake became known, it was too late.
"I don't think it was an inexcusable mistake, considering the ambiguous way he was talking," Butler said. "It's just too bad it happened."