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tv   President Biden Sens. Klobuchar Smith Eulogize Walter Mondale  CSPAN  May 3, 2022 3:48am-4:57am EDT

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to disappoint him and always try to live up to what he expected. he embodied the minnesota valid values and went out to use them to change the world. thank you to the mondale family for sharing this incredible man with each of us with the state of minnesota with our country and with the world. thank you. [applause] >> united states senator tina smith. [applause] >> it to the mondale finally all of them president
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biden, governors and senators and all of mr. mondale's many friends at the university of minnesota members of congress and other national and minnesota leaders and tribal leaders and presidential historian john meacham and all fritz friends and colleagues who are gathered here today i first met fritz mondale in a garage in minnesota around 1989 when our sons were two and six months old and i had zero experience in politics. but we were looking for a way to connect more deeply to our communities so i decided to volunteer for local state senate candidate full of energy and ideas and the young families just like us in the name happened to be ted
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mondale. packing up the kids in the stroller and headed for a house for the afternoon door knock and then in the back of the garage over by the sign in table was the former vice president of the united states. [laughter] the first major party to put an woman on the ticket a bona fide political celebrity just standing there in khakis. [laughter] how you doing? thanks for showing up. so i kept showing up. how can i not joan mondale was a volunteer coordinator and i had yet to meet the person who can say no to joan mondale. i always remember that first meeting even with politics and public service became a bigger part of my life and as i get to mr. mondale better after the 2002 senate race which was
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so painful in so many ways mr. mondale and i started to go to lunch every once in a while we would often talk talk politics but didn't feel like a work meeting but just to friends chatting and sharing onion rings. a lot of us who knew mr. mondale started out thinking of him as a hero and we wound up daring to think of him as a friend. ask them that his life and people will undoubtedly talked about his incredible record of service and accomplishment. but inevitably you will see him lean in and look around and say here is the thing, i really felt like i mattered to him and that was the thing about walter mondale. you did matter. one of the staffers as ambassador to japan tells the story mondale loved walking the streets in one day came
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across a little shop that sold pastries and it was run by a very enthusiastic guy who would stand outside of the shop screaming get yours. mondale fell in love with this guy at first sight the energy and the vitality and focus that mondale finally found his true essence in japan and when there was the official response at the residence along with the prime minister hashimoto in the full diplomatic corps mondale insisted the guy from the shop was indicted. [laughter] in the first one in the door and the last one to leave and the one that i think mondale was happiest to see.
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this week i have been reading a lot of tributes to mr. mondale's life and legacy president carter wrote in the determination and president clinton observed that throughout his long life he never stopped believing in the power of public service to make a difference in people's lives and president obama described mondale's lifetime of service as an incredible gift to his nation adding a champion and causes like housing and rights to help with the promise of america within the reach as a reading all of these notes by people who worked for walter mondale when he ran for president and never really left his orbit. a former staffer.
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and the mayo clinic seems like the only option for treatment. she worked up the nerve to ask mr. mondale for help. and then the person behind the check-in desk at mayo to say how do you know fritz? so many americans were called to action in the 1984 campaign. rooted in truth and decency and help for decades later many of them, you, still involved in politics to uphold to define the remarkable life. but as for me nearly 30 years when i first met mondale in that garage i found myself
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going to washington to be sworn into the united states senate. it is senate tradition that senators are escorted down the senate i'll to take the oath of office accompanied by a mentor of the choice and then i thought about my wanted to escort me from vice president mondale and the first he turned me down. you want somebody new he insisted. and then i got one of those calls from those that many of us have gotten over the years. [applause] she said he's coming the big day arrived and escorting me into the senate and also being sworn in that day and has joe biden escorting him into the
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senate and then we are little overstimulated with a list of things we need to get going but for the life of us we cannot get president biden vice president mondale off of the senate floor. [laughter] i believe this is something you can relate to? the two of you were there chatting and telling stories and having a grand time. and that if it was an emotional experience so those of us who knew vice president
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mondale knew exactly what that means for those of you who don't here is one last quick story. the last time the vice president and i had lunch together it was ten days before we lost him. he was pretty quiet but very engaged of what was going on and curious till the end. and i think we both knew we would not see each other again and when it came time for me to leave i went over to his side of the table i leaned over and put my hand on his shoulder and kissed him on the cheek and i said i love you. walter mondale looks up at me and says i've always been high on you. [laughter] that is norwegian emotional. that was our fritz. and as i imagine him reunited
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i look at all of you in the auditorium full of people carrying on life's work envisioning a generation of americans inspired of commitments to fight the fight and to tell a hard truth, but let's just say i feel emotions that are real norwegians without want to talk about. [laughter] leaving how much walter mondale gave to our country minnesotans will never forget the examples he set and those of us in this room will never forget our friend. [applause] >>
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[applause] john meacham. >> mr. president and madame president senator smith senator klobuchar reverend, professor and the broader mondale official family, the story begins the year before he was even old enough to vote in 1948 fritz mondale all of 20 was put in charge of the second congressional district for hubert humphrey's u.s. senate campaign. no one knew what second prize was. the annual martin county federation picnic at fox lake park needed a speaker and then mondale arranged for humphrey to headline the event the
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political climate was charged and complicated in that american summer with anxiety at home a destination abroad and a democratic president with a fractious party and a divided country. - - [laughter] history may not repeat itself but it does rhyme. [laughter] seen as too liberal by the right into conservative on the left harry truman would say he did not give republicans how he just told them the truth and they thought it was hell and in his own party but the desegregation of the military and push for civil rights only weeks before the martin county picnic and then to go back into the old confederacy but
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far from the olympian drama of philadelphia in martin county after the four h club played and humphrey took the stage and was passionate and funny and said kick the rascals out and vote to the new rascals in. [laughter] he thinks is young ally telling mr. mondale your work is needed. we have so much to do. mr. mondale was over the moon. after that day, i think i never stopped. i think i never stopped. and we live in a better and nobler more perfect union because walter frederick mondale never stopped. [applause]
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now for the politicians in the room and there may be one or two of you who snuck through customs. [laughter] to love our neighbors ourselves. to lift up the most vulnerable among us, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and strengthen the weak. if there is nothing more important, nothing more american than that. to enlist in the battles to make real the founding ideal of the nation that we are in fact
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created equal. [applause] we can and we will and we do disagree about the means of government americans have agreed on the end of our common project to give everyone in lincoln's phrase an open field and a fair chance. walter mondale devoted himself to that cause. he never stopped seeking a full, free, fair america. in his years in the arena are testament to a truth of human experience that the polls and passions of the moment are just that, of the moment. headlines come and go. history indoors. the two modes of politics, true service stands long after the
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moment have passed. we are at our best not when we build walls but when we build bridges, not when we point fingers but when we lend a hand, not when we fear, but when we hope. and from age to age, history honors those who put we the people above the will to power. the rule of law above the rain of party and its difficult truths about of self-serving fiction. [applause] now, as we heard from senator smith, they were historic people. his father theodore fought a starter and went to seminary and
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raised troops who knew hardships but lived in hope. it was a hope that drove him all his life. he was born, think about it, a year before the stock market crash. his childhood was shaped by the great depression. he believed in hard work and liked to say he was the only licensed to become vice president of the united states. i didn't check it but i think that he is on safe ground. some might have preferred it. he served in the army and went to law school and always gave back to the country that made his life possible. now he was often caricatured, as you well know, as a big government liberal. but he's better understood as the cold war liberal. a man devoted at home and abroad to freedom and fairness.
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freedom and fairness. bear those words in mind for they are the words that shaped walter mondale's consequential life. and lord knows they are the words that must guide us still. in the struggle between democracy and dictatorship in the 20th century, mondale cast neither the utopians of the left or reactionaries of the right, he stood for the centrality of the individuals, the sanctity of liberty and for the pursuit of possibility against the totalitarian impulse. as attorney general in minnesota he was instrumental in the gideon case that gave defendants the right to counsel. he brokered a deal that would end segregation forever in the democratic party. then he came to the senate. in the mid-1960s humphrey had won the year of that bureau
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picnic senator mondale sent a vital intersection of sources. to him as he put it it was as if we took the intellectual heritage of franklin roosevelt, the moral inspiration of john kennedy and its decade of demand for social change and converted them into social reality. as a senator he was a crucial voice for the act of 1965. he led the battle for fair housing in 1968, mastering the senate in that essential our and he never stopped. the causes included a title ix to open opportunities for women, head start and a secondary education, filibuster reform, nutrition and antipoverty programs, workers rights, environmental protections, consumer protections, early attention to the crisis of climate change.
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the domestic side of the committee that would reveal the fbi wiretapping and harassment of martin luther king jr. the transformation of the vice presidency and the carter years, the challenge to apartheid that united the chain of events that led up to the release of nelson mandela and the nomination of a woman, geraldine ferraro to run with him on a national ticket. walter mondale was a giant in the senate, a formidable vice president and a truth telling presidential nominee of his party who never stopped standing by principal. [applause] to be sure it wasn't always the smoothest. mondale knew the politics as well as any american ever has. in 1976 he recalled after the year i was running six points behind i don't know, and i wanted to challenge him to a
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debate. asking ronald reagan in 1984 what do you want for christmas and reagan said minnesota. when mr. mondale went to ask george mcgovern when did it stop hurting him to lose the presidency, senator mcgovern said i don't know, i will tell you when it happens. walter mondale loves his family and fishing, shakespeare, dairy queen, the united states senate, hubert humphrey, cigars and the state of minnesota. and most of all he loved america. his complexities and hopes, promising possibilities. he thought of himself as a public servant, as a citizen with an obligation to the common good. to him, government was not the enemy or the problem, but rather a manifestation of love of neighbor and country. on the night of his defeat in
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1984, he spoke not only to the moment as painful as it was but to history saying let us continue to seek in america that is just and fair. that has been my fight. i'm confident that history will judge us honorably and so it has. one of the favorite verses of scripture tells this much. i fought the good fight. i finished the race. i've kept the faith. the first part of the chapter is quoted less often but is worth remembering preach the word, the apostle wrote. be prepared in season and out of season. justice knows no season.
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truth knows no season. for freedom knows no season, fairness knows no season. walter mondale knew that and lived by that and today we salute him for that. there are children in america today who will not go hungry because of mondale. there are black people in america today who can vote and work and live more freely and fairly because of fritz mondale. [applause] there are women in america today who see no limit to their dreams because of fritz mondale. there are safer cars in america, untouched wildlife in america today because of fritz mondale. [applause] he never stopped believing in this country. he never stopped fighting for its people. and thankfully, he never stopped
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defending democracy and more in his memory must we. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, united states senator amy klobuchar. [applause] >> good afternoon. thank you for those beautiful words. mr. president, distinguished guests, it is so wonderful to see everyone again and what better person to bring up together then walter mondale. it's an honor for john and i to
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be here with you and your family to celebrate the life of your dad come our friend, leader, mentor. a few years back, i visited the carter museum in atlanta. of course i wanted to learn about the early days. but like the mondale geek that i am, i just kept asking the guys to show me everything mondale. the videos of the speeches, the sign, some of you remember those, and, yes, i even asked if they had jones dressed from the inauguration. but at the very end of the visit, i saw some words inscribed large on the wall. they were walter mondale's words. right after they lost in 1980, he was able to look back at the
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four years in the white house with clear reflection. he said we told the truth. we obey the law and kept the peace. [applause] i wrote those words down on a piece of paper and kept them there to get through the last years. we told the truth, obeyed the law and kept the peace. that is our mondale. that's the standard and more. he helped himself to each and every day of his life. it is what guided him as a young state attorney general. when he led attorneys generals to embrace the right to counsel in a landmark supreme court
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case, tell the truth, obey the law, keep the peace. it's what mattered to him as a u.s. senator when he fought for civil rights and fair housing. it's what motivated him as the country's vice president when he insisted on being a true partner to president carter deserving of a place in the room where it happens. setting the high standard, how about when he picked geraldine ferraro and his running mate. [applause] i still remember him standing next to her in her red dress and string of white pearls and it was at that moment when i knew anything and everything was possible and they set the standards as the ambassador to
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japan. or in midwestern vernacular, walter mondale told the truth. he obeyed the law and kept the peace. despite his seemingly stoic cautious manner, okay, correction, his stoic manner he led the way and set a high bar. it was during mondale's time as vice president that we first met. my first assignment as a college intern was to conduct the furniture inventory. i felt i was going to write all of the policy papers. this was it. my job was to crawl under every
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staff member's table and chair and diligently check the serial numbers. i learned two things from that summer. the first to the vice president was scrupulously honest. nothing was missing. and second, take every job seriously because that was my first job in washington and thanks to walter mondale, this was my second. i found out way back then public service wasn't about personal glory it was about the people. it was about democracy. it was about our country. he became a devoted mentor to so
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many. vice president mondale was the first to encourage me to run for the u.s. senate. and the first time i spoke at the national democratic convention, it was walter mondale who warned me of the dangers of relying on a teleprompter. back in 2004 is the county attorney, i was invited to speak at the democratic convention in boston. fritz came up to me and said you've memorized your speech, right? i told him there was a teleprompter and it's only three minutes and i would be just fine. no, that isn't fine.
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remember the time in 1980 at the convention when carter said herbert horatio, that was a teleprompter screw up so don't trust it, just memorize the speech. this might put me a little bit out of date, but i told him i would memorize my speech and i did. i was ready to go for my big three minute moment. senator leahy was up at the podium. he suddenly stopped and looked around the room. the teleprompter had gonedark. i could see walter mondale in the front row and made eye contact with him.
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when i got up there whether the teleprompter was working again or not it didn't matter anymore. i added some stuff. i had some fun. it was great and when it was done people were clapping and cheering. he was there in the front row and when he stood they stood. [applause] he was my mentor from the beginning of the journey. use the unit wasn't just the decency he displayed on the national political stage that
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made him stand out. it was the dignity he brought home in the wake of defeat. it wasn't easy for walter mondale to run against ronald reagan knowing that most people were predicting that reagan would when. it wasn't easy for walter mondale to come out of retirement and run for the senate after we lost paul wellstone. it wasn't easy for walter mondale to continue his work while caring for his beloved wife and their daughter through heartbreaking illnesses. but with enormous setbacks, he stood up. he didn't hide from public view. he simply found a different way to serve. he went from being driven around with secret service and meeting
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with world leaders and negotiating international treaties and happily ending his visit. being humble meant that it was much easier to be resilient. this week in washington we celebrated the life of one of his friends.
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the two of them shared not only an unshakable belief in democracy and human rights, but also a dry weight and ability to self reflect. as secretary albright wrote it is unnecessarily tidy and uneven. the son of a minister. to the world stage. and he never lost his way. he was and is our guiding star. he was and is our northstar. [applause]
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just as walter mondale believed in the dignity of all people, the promise of america to take care of our people, so does our honored guest. president joseph biden has taken the reins of the country at an unparalleled time. he is leading at a moment that we must emerge from the pandemic not as a country in 300 plus million silos but as one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. president biden has led our nation and the democracies of the world to stand up to the inhumane barbarism of vladimir putin and stand with the blue and yellow courage and
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conviction of the people of ukraine. [applause] as walter mondale once wrote, our founders believed that america needs leaders to transcend the politics of the moment and pursue the nation's long-term aspirations. leaders who will take care of the constitution, understanding that they are only custodians of an idea. that describes of course walter mondale but that also describes his good friend, joe biden. president biden served with walter mondale in the senate. he asked joe biden to be his
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vice president in this very state the first call joe biden made was to fritz. he relied on him and on his last day on earth, our president was there on the phone with him. [applause] vice president mondale love to you and believed in you. we trusted with the country's future. he's looking down smiling so proud you are here in his beloved state of minnesota. it is now my honor to introduce to you the president of the united states, joe biden. [applause]
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[applause] what he's really saying looking down is hide your enthusiasm a little bit. [laughter] >> generous introduction. i got the chance to talk with the family a little bit earlier
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and trying to console them and i got emotional. as my grandfather would say, you know i served with fritz for a long time. he became a good and close friend. i was a kid when i got elected, 29-years-old and because everything is based on seniority in the senate, i got to hang out with folks like fritz and hubert long before ordinarily at my age at a time in the second term i was chair man of some major committees. i'm going to talk more today
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about what he pretended to didn't exist but the sense of empathy he had a special way about him i don't think he would talk about. that could be wrong. now there's a question he famously asked staffers he said on a breakfast plate what is the difference between the eggs and bacon. senator smith and klobuchar know the answer. the chicken made a contribution. the hog was fully committed. [applause] always surprised a little bit about agriculture.
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my state, it's a 5 billion-dollar industry, chickens, a lot more than people. it's the biggest industry. when fritz was always committed not only to the work of his lifetime which all of you are familiar with, most people, everybody was blessed to know him in the state. military distinguished guests, most of all the mondale family. ted, william, jan, all the grandchildren, lewis, charlotte, cassandra, daniel and all the good friends and family that are here as well. they always talked about you all as family. i am moved to be with you here
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today with one of the great giants in american history and that's not hyperbole. he was a giant in american political history. a great american who relayed things without him even knowing it. great american novelist. there are two ways of spreading light, to be a candle or the mirror reflection. he is both a candle and a mirror in my view. candle spreading light and the mirror reflecting it. today, five decades about that friendship and what it meant to me personally. we first met during one of the darkest moments of my life.
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i had not intended to run for the united states senate. i was involved my state was segregated by law and the eighth largest black population as a percentage in delaware. i got involved in politics indirectly by getting involved in the civil rights movement as a kid, being the only white employee in wilmington for years. i was asked by a group of senior democrats when i was a young lawyer and i came back from law school. we were the only city in america occupied by the national guard for ten months. every corner being occupied by national guard members because of doctor king's assassination and the rise that took place in my home state.
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i had a job with one of the law firms in the state. after being home for six months, i couldn't do it anymore and i left and tried the jobs as a public defender to represent the people i used to work with as a kid in high school and college. so, i came to the united states senate with a passion to do something about civil rights, and when i was elected iran initially for the group i joined with senior members of the united states of the delaware democratic establishment to reform the party because we were more southern democratic party than the northeastern democratic party. used to be able to be joined in
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the conference and the democratic governors joined the southern conference. i couldn't bring myself to be more republican because of richard nixon. when i registered. i was asked to head up committee to try to get someone to run for the united states senate against a decent guy. one thing led to another and i ended up being asked to run for the senate. i had no intention to run it. two years earlier i had been elected to the county counsel. like a miniature illinois. one company 60%. the councilperson i represented a district seven times larger than the state representative
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and three times larger than the senate. i ran and one only to be a good soldier to try to get out democrats voting. i wasn't supposed to win. the only reason i ran i was certainly wasn't going to win because i didn't want to be the council. what happened was it was like 55, 56% republican, no democrat ever won. republicans saw something in me i didn't see. to run for office beyond that so from a four-year term to two-year term in the districts. i was put in the position of upper out and a group of senior members of the former united states senators, former congressman and the chief justice of the supreme court
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whose family had more senators than any family in american history and they came to me. i will never forget how classic it was. it was a break in the convention. at a motel nearby to go back and change with the people i was with. i was shaving and heard a banging at the door. i thought it was bob cunningham so i opened the door. it was a former two-term governor, former congressman and
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state chair man and former chief justice. i'm standing there in a towel and the rest of me stark naked. he said i want to talk with you, joe. come on, gentlemen. i ran in the bathroom hoping i could find something to put on but i had nothing to put on so i came back out and leaned against the desk and said yes, gentlemen, and they said we just had dinner. we think you should run for the senate. they said you didn't do very well in the constitutional law. thinking what did i do now. and he said you only have to be 30 to be sworn in. you will be 3017 days later.
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i ran to the shock and surprise of everybody i one by a staggering 3100 votes. i showed up to hire staff. hadn't been sworn in yet. what happened was i've gotten a phone call that day from my fire department in delaware and they put a poor young woman on the phone that you said you have to come home, there's been an accident. she went on to tell me your wife and daughter are dead. your boys may not make it. the last thing i wanted to do was go to the united states senate after that.
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we elected a governor, democrat. he could appoint a democrat. and i had my brother talking to him. but there was fritz and joan, they embraced me and contacted me. it's not just being nice, but bringing me in. they came to the hospital to see my boys and helped me find my purpose and see darkness and pain. i was with fritz along with mike mansfield and teddy kennedy and a few others who all came to see me and said come six months, go home after that. we need you. fifty-eight democrats. i was such a rookie i thought maybe they need me to organize.
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[laughter] they said you can leave. i will show up every tuesday at 3:00 in the senate chamber to get an assignment. they would walk me over and i thought all freshmen got assignments. i didn't know. nobody gets an assignment in the senate. it wasn't until about five months or three months then that i realized that was the case. but they kept me engaged. they helped me get up when it was easy to give up. my life changed again five years later. but i met and married joe biden and asked her five times. [laughter]
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true. but being a senator that was relatively well known because of the celebrity of how i got here and the accident, and two beautiful young boys it wasn't easy. once again, fritz and joan were there spreading the light. joan was one of the first people to reach out to jill and that meant the world to us. you heard from my friend. fritz was a master legislator who shined a light on those who needed it the most the desire to lift up others from his service as a corporal u.s. army in those days and parts of minnesota the democrats didn't win and the power of bringing people
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together. no moment was brighter than when he joined forces. with a senator from massachusetts and passed the fair housing act. i was in same side of the chamber in the back where fritz was. i remember the look on his face. "neighborhoods diminished for so long he said the words justice and fairness will mean more. that was fritz spreading light to those that have never truly known. at every stage of our life,
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every inflection point they were there for me and my family not on a political level but a personal level. in 2008 we became close friends and i sought his counsel many times. i commuted every day they later told me they should name a station or something after me. all kidding aside, he called me after it was clear he was the de facto nominee and said he would like me to join him on the
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ticket or at least consider it. could he do a background check on me? you know they have to do that background check and i said no, thanks. i thought he was just dragging it through the senate like the presidential nominees do to get everybody excited and involved. he said there's only one other person i'm considering. i said i don't want to be vice president. he said why, basically because of standby equipment. i said what i want to do, and by that time i chaired two major committees and was influential in the senate. would you go home and talk it over with your family, just talk it over, so i did. i called jill on my cell phone and i was about halfway home when i got the call.
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when i got home, i went in and of the first person i called was fritz before the family gathered in the back porch. and i said what should i do. he went into great detail. i'm serious. as a matter of fact he send me a memorandum prepared for president carter when they were deciding how the relationship would work. he told me he holds no inherent power, none, zero. it's a reflection of the relationship with the president of the united states. about seven years ago, i adjoined at a forum in his honor at george washington university. he recounted it wasn't his expertise in the political policy area but the genuine
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personal relationship he built with president jimmy carter. relationships built on affection and trust. they sat down to lunch with each other every weekend he said make sure to get a commitment from barack obama. once a week have lunch to discuss whatever is on your mind. he was the first vice president to have an office in the west wing just a few steps away from the oval office. that never happened before over and the executive office building across the street they were. that was true strength and the vice presidency. the strength we replicated in our time in office and what we are doing today and she sends her regards to the whole family. she told me before i got on the plane. it was fritz that led the way. at his core he embraced everybody with the beliefs
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everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity not just the right to vote with dignity. he was loved by the american people because he reflected the goodness of the american people. especially the people in minnesota. every senator wears on his and her sleeve the state they serve, but the love he had for the people of minnesota ran deeper than that. he loved you all and you left him back it was obvious because he reflected the very best qualities of this state. the warmth and optimism that you reflect and in return he reflected the light of this nation, who we are and what we can be. he called me when i had said we
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are the most unique nation in all of history. we are the only nation founded on an idea every other nation in the world based on geography, ethnicity, religion and race, founded on an idea we hold these truths to be self-evident all men and women are created equal and with certain inalienable rights including the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and it goes on. he believed that in his gut. i watched him every day for over 35 years in the senate and when he was vice president. he united people, sharing the same light and hope even when we disagreed he thought that was
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important. i will never forget on a personal level what it meant to have a friend like fritz. less than four years after losing eleanor to brain cancer and just a year after you've losing joan, fritz was there to help me again when jill and i lost our son to brain cancer after a year in iraq. i will never forget how fritz reflected so much light and love into our family again at our darkest moments. and coming here to minneapolis eight years ago to say goodbye to joan most people remember fritz went to the mayo clinic for a quadruple bypass the very next day. he delayed the surgery so he could be with all of us to
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reflect her light and put off treating his own heart because as all you know his heart belonged to joan. as i've said many times, i say to the family seeing your mom and dad together reminded me of that great line from the christopher marlowe poem come live with me and be my love and we shall all the pleasures prove. you can tell when a couple has been together a long time still looks at each other with love, deep love. it's been said that memory is a power together roses and winter. your dad blessed you with an endless garden of those memories. most of all the memory of two extraordinary loves.
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the love of more than 58 years he spent together with your mom and love of 51 years with your sister eleanor. in his farewell letter, fritz wrote he was eager to rejoin joan and eleanor, to unbreakable loves. joe biden wanted to do a garden at the vice president's residence a picture which shows on the screen outside so that every family that ever had lived there there was a garden and stones and engraved the name of the couple and the children. i called him to tell him about it and he came over to the house. it was a summer day and he said can we go in the house. i said of course.
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he wanted to walk up to the third floor and then to the end there are bedrooms in the third floor. he stopped in front of a door tr and opened it and just stared and i knew he was thinking something deep. i went down the hallway and a few minutes went by he came down and said that was eleanor's room. i so miss her. they are all together now for all time. ralph emerson wrote an institution is a lengthened shadow with one man. there is no doubt they reflect the profound legacy of fritz mondale. it's not a lengthened shadow we see in those places, it's up to each of us to reflect that light
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that he was all about, to reflect fritz's goodness and grace, the way he made people feel no matter who you were. just imagine what the nation could achieve if we followed the example of honor, decency, integrity. just to the service of the common good. there would be nothing beyond our reach. i hope we all can be fritz's mirror to continue to spread his light because you know he was one of the finest men you've ever known, one of the most decent people i've ever dealt with, one of the toughest and
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smartest man i've ever worked with. we were lucky to have had him. from the look of things he was lucky to have had you. god bless you, my dear friend. among the greatest of all americans, the highest compliment my grandfather used to say you can give a man or woman was to say he's a good man. fritz mondale was a good man. [applause], and the solicitor
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general ed law clerks of justice stevens.


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