Walter Mondale, former US vice-president and celebrated liberal, dies aged 93

Walter F Mondale, the former vice-president and liberal icon who lost to Ronald Reagan in one of the most lopsided presidential elections, has died at the age of 93.

The death of the former senator, ambassador and Minnesota attorney general was announced in a statement on Monday from his family. No cause was cited.

Mondale followed the trail blazed by his political mentor, Hubert H Humphrey, from Minnesota politics to the US Senate and the vice-presidency, serving under Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.

His own try for the White House, in 1984, came at the zenith of Ronald Reagan’s popularity. Mondale’s selection of the US representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate made him the first major-party presidential nominee to put a woman on the ticket, but his declaration that he would raise taxes helped define the race.

On election day, he carried only his home state and the District of Columbia. The electoral vote was 525-13 for Reagan – the biggest landslide in the electoral College since Franklin Roosevelt defeated Alf Landon in 1936.

“I did my best,” Mondale said the day after the election, and blamed no one but himself.

“I think, you know, I’ve never really warmed up to television,” he said. “In fairness to television, it never really warmed up to me.”

Years later, Mondale said his campaign message had proven to be the right one.
“History has vindicated me that we would have to raise taxes,” he said. “It was very unpopular, but it was undeniably correct.”

More details soon …

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