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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Biden calls former VP Mondale a ‘giant’ of political history

MINNEAPOLIS ( Associated Press) – President Joe Biden on Sunday saluted his “friend of five decades” Walter Mondale, traveling to the University of Minnesota to remember the former vice president and Democratic Party veteran, whose memorial service had a close due to the pandemic. There was a delay of a year.

Mondale died in April 2021 At the age of 93. He is credited with transforming the office of Vice President – which Biden himself held for eight years under President Barack Obama – while expanding his responsibilities and making himself a key adviser to President Jimmy Carter.

Mondale was “a giant in American political history,” Biden said of Mondale, known to friends as “Fritz.” He said Mondale was one of the “toughest, smartest men” both as an aide to the Senate and as a mentor when Biden was Obama’s No. 2 and then later as president.

Biden emphasized Mondale’s sympathies, recalling his own promise during the 2020 presidential campaign to unite the country. It’s something the president has strayed a bit into in recent weeks, as he seeks to make a big difference between his administration and congressional Republicans who have opposed it on nearly every major issue.

“It was Fritz who lit the way.” Biden said. “Everyone should be treated with respect. Everyone.”

Biden added Mondale: “He united people who shared the light, the same hopes – even when we disagreed, they still thought it was important.”

“It is up to each of us to reflect the light that Fritz was about.”

There was plenty of organ music in the invitation-only, 90-minute service on Sundays inside the auditorium of a stately complex. Biden, who received a standing ovation, said he spoke with Mondale’s family beforehand and got “emotional” himself.

Democratic Sen. Tina Smith called Mondale a “real political figure” who still devoted time to races big and small in her home state. Minnesota civil rights icon Josie Johnson explained what a good listener Mondale was and how she supported inclusivity.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar once described being an intern who climbed under a table to complete chairs and a furniture inventory when Mondale was vice president.

“That was my first job in Washington. And, thanks to Walter Mondale, it was my second,” Klobuchar said of being a senator, noting that Mondale encouraged and taught her to run “in Washington.” How to say my name to pandits.

Democratic Governor Tim Walz said Minnesota may be better known as Mondale’s home state than his moniker “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” and praised Mondale’s wit, humility, humor and optimism.

“He embodied a sense of joy. He lived his life every single day,” Walz said. “At 91 years old, he was still fishing for a purse. Unlike me, he was holding something. ,

A handbook given to attendees for the “Afternoon of Remembrance and Reflection” excerpted from Mondale’s 2010 book, “The Good Fight”: “I believe in the values ​​of the American people—our fundamental decency, justice and Our sense of fairness, our love of freedom – are the nation’s greatest assets, and their operation by Lostar is the only right way forward.”

Its back cover featured Mondale’s face next to the slogan, “We told the truth. We followed the law. We kept the peace,” which Klobuchar described as memorials at the end of the Carter administration after the then-Vice President remembered him.

Mondale was a graduate of the University of Minnesota and its law school, which has a building named after him. During Sunday’s remembrance, Biden wiped his eyes as he performed “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie,” and the service kicked off with the university’s marching band, sending people away with the “Minnesota Rauser” fight song. gave.

Mondale followed the trail blown by his political adviser Hubert H. Humphrey, who served as Minnesota Attorney General before replacing Humphrey in the Senate. He was Carter’s vice president from 1977 to 1981.

Mondale lost one of the most one-sided presidential elections ever to Ronald Reagan in 1984. He only pushed Minnesota and the District of Columbia to expect a tax increase after explicitly telling voters that if they win. But he made history in that race by choosing Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate, becoming the first major-party candidate to field a woman on the ticket.

Mondale remained an important democratic voice until decades later, and served as ambassador to Japan under President Bill Clinton. In 2002, at the age of 74, after Sen. Paul Wellstone was killed in a plane crash shortly before the election, he was set to run for Senate again. Mondale briefly lost the race to Republican Norm Coleman.

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