He was well-known for his masterful manipulation of foreign affairs and long-time record of five terms as mayor. While mayor, he attended the first Seldon recording in the Time Vault, revealing the unimportance of the Encyclopedia; in the resulting confusion, he overthrew the ruling council of the time and took power. When Anacreon set a military base up on Terminus, he pitted the Four Kingdoms of the region against each other, establishing a balance of power that forced the removal of the Anacreon and discouraged any further encroachment upon Terminus. To further pacify the region, he developed a religion which viewed the superior technology of the Foundation as magic, and Terminus as a holy land. When Anacreon threatened again using a recovered imperial cruiser, he used this with great effectiveness to incite mutiny among the believers among the crew. This religion proved highly useful to Foundation control of the Periphery, until the time of Hober Mallow, eight decades later.
Hardin is also well known for his many sayings, his favorite being "violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."