The late Walter Mondale was “a giant in American political history,” President Biden recalled Sunday at a memorial for the country’s 42nd vice president.
Biden praised Mondale’s ‘special sense of empathy’ and ‘special way about her’ during service at University of Minnesota, postponed due to COVID and held more than a year later Mondale’s death at 93.
The president took a personal tone, recalling how Mondale helped him as Biden mourned the deaths of his wife and daughter weeks after his first term as a U.S. senator.
“Fritz and I first met in one of the darkest times of my life,” Biden said of the former veep, referring to him by his nickname.
“They helped me find my purpose in a sea of darkness and pain,” he said of Mondale and his wife Joan. “They kept me engaged. They helped me up when it was easy to give up.
After representing Minnesota in the United States Senate from 1964 to 1976, Mondale served as vice president under former President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. The Democrat lost the 1980 presidential election to Ronald Reagan.
In his eulogy for Mondale, Biden pointed to the contrast between the late politician’s example and the bitter politics of today.
“He united people of shared light, like-minded hopes — even when we disagreed, he thought it was important,” Biden said.
“It’s up to each of us to reflect that light that Fritz was all about,” he said.
With dispatch services