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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Biden pays tribute to former Vice President Walter Mondale

MINNEAPOLIS ( Associated Press) — President Joe Biden paid tribute to his “friend of five decades,” Walter Mondale, as he traveled to the University of Minnesota on Sunday to remember the former vice president and Democratic Party veteran whose funeral service was postponed. one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mondale passed away in April 2021 at the age of 93. He is credited with reshaping the vice-presidential job – which Biden himself held for eight years under President Barack Obama – by expanding his responsibilities and becoming a key adviser to President Jimmy Carter.

Mondale “was a giant of American political history,” Biden said, referring to the former official, known to friends as “Fritz.”

He added that he was one of the “strongest, smartest men I’ve ever worked with,” both as colleagues in the Senate and as a mentor when Biden was Obama’s vice president and later as president.

In his speech, the US president highlighted Mondale’s empathy, recalling his own promise during the 2020 presidential campaign to unite the country. That’s something the president has backed away from in recent weeks as he tried to draw a sharper contrast between his administration and Republican lawmakers, who have opposed his management on nearly every major issue.

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

Biden added of Mondale: “He brought people together by sharing the light, the same hopes — even when we disagreed, he thought that was important.”

Sunday’s ceremony, which lasted 90 minutes and was accessible by invitation only, was held in a stately campus auditorium where a vast repertoire of organ music was heard. Biden, who received a standing ovation, said that he had spoken with Mondale’s family earlier and that he himself had been “moved.”

Democratic Sen. Tina Smith called Mondale a “major political celebrity” who continued to put time into races of all sizes in her home state. Josie Johnson, a Minnesota civil rights icon, spoke about Mondale’s listening skills and her advocacy for inclusion.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar recounted when she was an intern, crawling under chairs and table to take inventory of furniture during Mondale’s vice presidency.

“That was my first job in Washington, but thanks to Walter Mondale, this has been my second,” Klobuchar said of her status as a senator, noting that Mondale encouraged her to run and taught “the pundits in Washington to say my name”.

Democratic Gov. Tim Walz said Minnesota may be better known as Mondale’s home state than its “Land of 10,000 Lakes” moniker, praising Mondale’s intellect, humility, humor and optimism.

World Nation News Desk
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