Biden says Walter Mondale paved a way for others and was a model for his service
Joe Biden attributed part of his success in politics to former Vice President Walter Mondale, who died on Monday at the age of 93.
“When I arrived in the United States Senate in 1973, Walter Mondale was one of the first people to greet me. Through his work as a Senator, he showed me what was possible,” Biden said in a statement.
Mondale, whose nickname was Fritz, had a decades-long political career and was committed to his role of vice president when he served alongside former President Jimmy Carter.
Biden, the former vice president to Barack Obama, said Mondale greatly helped him prepare for the role.
“When President Obama asked me to consider being his Vice President, Fritz was my first call and trusted guide. He not only took my call, he wrote me a memo. It was Walter Mondale who defined the vice presidency as a full partnership, and helped provide a model for my service,” Biden said.
Biden also honored the work Mondale did as a senator.
“He may have been modest and unassuming in manner, but he was unwavering in his pursuit of progress; instrumental in passing laws like the Fair Housing Act to prevent racial discrimination in housing, Title IX to provide more opportunities for women, and laws to protect our environment. There have been few senators, before or since, who commanded such universal respect,” Biden said.
Mondale served as a US Senator from Minnesota prior to working with Carter. The pair lost their bid for a second term in office in 1980 but Mondale ran for president in 1984 and chose New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, the first female running mate on a general election ticket.
“He not only created a path for himself, he helped others do the same. Walter Mondale was the first presidential nominee of either party to select a woman as his running mate, and I know how pleased he was to be able to see Kamala Harris become Vice President,” Biden said.
Vice President Kamala Harris also thanked Mondale for his service.
“Vice President Walter Mondale led an extraordinary life of service—in uniform during the Korean War, as a Senator, and as Vice President. I was able to speak with him just a few days ago and thank him for his service. I’ll miss him dearly, and my heart is with his family today,” Harris said in a tweet.
Mondale also once served as a lawyer, Minnesota’s attorney general, and as an ambassador to Japan under Clinton.
“In accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for President, he described the values he was taught to live by: ‘to play by the rules; to tell the truth; to obey the law; to care for others; to love our country; to cherish our faith,'” Biden said.
He added: “As a Senator, an Ambassador, a Vice President, and a candidate for President, he lived and spread those values.”