The Mondale model
Minnesota’s Walter “Fritz” Mondale died Monday at the age of 93. He should be remembered as a politician and statesman who brought a uniquely Minnesota flavor to the profession of politics. He was a small town from Elmore, to his lifetime of service as a state attorney general, a U.S. senator, as a transformative vice president, an honest, if unsuccessful presidential candidate, an ambassador representing his country in Japan, and finally, an elder statesman who was so respected he was the consensus candidate to take the place of Sen. Paul Wellstone, who was killed in a plane crash 11 days before the 2002 election.
Mondale is credited with transforming the role of the vice president, working closely with his president, Jimmy Carter on legislative and policy issues, but he was also a model that politicians today should aspire to copy. He was a liberal in the best sense of the word. He was hard-working politician who treated his colleagues from the other side of the aisle with respect. He was a politician who put service to his state and his country first.
Minnesotans should be proud to have an association with a man who dignified public service as Walter Mondale did.