Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Why It's Time To Reassess Walter Mondale's Place In History

Walter Mondale was a Senate leader on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which limited such power.  As Democratic nominee in 1984 he appointed Geraldine Ferraro to chair the disputacious platform committee (on which  I served as a Mondale campaigner), and then picked the Fordham Law grad as his vice presidential candidate.  I've long been a Mondale fan. - gwc
Why It's Time To Reassess Walter Mondale's Place In History
by Ben Railton (Fitchburg State University)

Even for those with more than a passing interest in American political history, the name Walter Mondale usually symbolizes one and only one thing: one of the worst electoral defeats in the history of the presidency. Running against popular incumbent Ronald Reagan in the 1984 election, Mondale won only the District of Columbia and his home state of Minnesota (and that by fewer than 5,000 votes), garnering a meager 13 electoral votes to Reagan’s 525. It was the worst defeat for any Democratic presidential candidate in American history, a landslide loss so striking that it has understandably become synonymous with Mondale’s name in our political narratives.

Yet as the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs hosts two high-profile Washington, D.C. events Tuesday to honor Mondale’s “life and legacy”— speakers will include former President Jimmy Carter (for whom Mondale served as vice president) and current Vice President Joe Biden, among many other luminaries—it’s time we reassess Mondale’s place in our political and social histories. And in so doing, we find that he both contributed immeasurably to the late 20th century and helped pave the way for the 21st.

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