MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) – President Joe Biden plans to gather with other dignitaries in Minneapolis on Sunday to remember former Vice President Walter Mondale at a memorial service his family delayed for a year due to the pandemic.
Mondale died in April 2021 at the age of 93. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden wanted to attend the memorial because he had “an important personal relationship” with Mondale.
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Biden described Mondale as “one of our nation’s most dedicated patriots and public servants.”
Admission is by invitation only, but the service will air live on CBS News Minnesota. It is scheduled to take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. CDT.
Other speakers at the event at the University of Minnesota include Governor Tim Walz, The Senses. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and Larry Jacobs, professor of political science at the university’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Presidential historian Jon Meacham will deliver the eulogy.
Mondale was a graduate of the university and its law school, and the law school building is named after him. The service features a performance of “Tomorrow” from “Annie,” and a closing by the college marching band, which will send people off with the fight song “Minnesota Rouser.”
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Mondale followed a trail set by his political mentor, Hubert H. Humphrey, as Minnesota attorney general before replacing Humphrey in the US Senate. He served as Vice President under Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.
And he lost one of the most lopsided presidential elections of all time, to Ronald Reagan in 1984. He won only Minnesota and the District of Columbia after bluntly telling voters to expect a tax hike if he won. But he made history in that race by choosing Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate, becoming the first candidate from a major party to put a woman on the ticket.
Mondale remained a revered former liberal, with a long list of accomplishments, and later served as ambassador to Japan under President Bill Clinton. But he was not done with politics. In 2002, at age 74, he was drafted to run again for the Senate after Senator Paul Wellstone was killed in a plane crash shortly before the election. Mondale lost the shortened race to Republican Norm Coleman.
Biden paid tribute to Mondale at the time of her death last year, saying, “There have been few senators, before or since, who have garnered such universal respect. … It was Walter Mondale who defined the vice presidency as a full partnership and helped provide a model for my department.
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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)