Walter F. Mondale, Carter’s Vice President Who Lost White House Bid, Dies At 93Breaking News
tags: obituaries, Walter Mondale
Walter F. Mondale, the former Democratic senator and vice president whose unusually candid and forward-looking bid for the pinnacle of American politics was blocked by President Ronald Reagan’s landslide reelection victory in 1984, died April 19 at his home in Minneapolis. He was 93.
Family friend and spokeswoman Kathy Tunheim announced the death but did not provide a specific cause.
Mr. Mondale was a major player on the national political stage for two decades, beginning in 1964, when he was appointed to the Senate seat from Minnesota that his political mentor, Hubert H. Humphrey, had given up to become President Lyndon B. Johnson’s vice president.
On Capitol Hill, Mr. Mondale rose in the party hierarchy while establishing a reputation as a diligent legislator and a champion of such liberal causes as open housing and anti-poverty programs. His star ascended still further in 1976 when Jimmy Carter, the former Georgia governor and Democratic nominee for president, chose him as his running mate.
That November, Carter and Mondale — aided no doubt by the lingering shadow of the Watergate political scandal over the GOP — narrowly defeated President Gerald Ford and Sen. Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.). But four years later — weighed down by an oil crisis and the Iranian hostage crisis — the Carter-Mondale ticket lost the White House to Reagan and his running mate, George H.W. Bush, in the 1980 election.
Mr. Mondale was back in 1984, running this time at the top of the Democratic ticket, but he lost to Reagan in spectacular fashion.
As a presidential candidate, Mr. Mondale is, perhaps, best remembered for his startling promise at the Democratic National Convention to attack the budget deficit by raising taxes and for his choosing a female running mate: Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro of New York, who became the first woman to run on a major-party presidential ticket.
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