Former President Jimmy Carter owed Walter F. Mondale, his former Vice President, who passed away Monday at the age of 93, for transforming the office from a minor role to a government partner with his political ability and personal integrity.
Mr. Carter led the honors to Mr. Mondale, many of them from the political left.
They remembered Mr. Mondale, the 42nd Vice President and former U.S. Senator who lost the 1984 presidential election to Ronald Reagan in a landslide, as a tireless advocate for liberal issues like civil rights reform and a gracious official who was the first woman to run for office picked buddy on a big party ticket, Geraldine Ferraro.
In a statement, Mr. Carter, 96, called Mr. Mondale, nicknamed Fritz, the best vice president in American history.
“During our tenure, Fritz used his political skills and personal integrity to transform the Vice Presidency into a dynamic, political force that has never been seen before and still exists today,” said Carter. “He has been an invaluable partner and able servant to the people of Minnesota, the United States, and the world. Fritz Mondale gave us all a model for public service and private behavior. “
In a joint statement with First Lady Jill Biden on Monday evening, President Biden said he would have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Mondale and his family over the weekend. He remembered how Mr. Mondale was one of the first to greet him when he arrived in Washington in 1973 when he and Mr. Mondale were senators and how he asked his advice.
“When President Obama asked me to consider being his Vice President, Fritz was my first call and trusted guide,” said Biden. “Not only did he take my call, he also wrote me a memo. It was Walter Mondale who defined the vice presidency as a full partnership and helped provide a model for my ministry. “
Mr. Biden said that few senators have offered such universal respect as Mr. Mondale.
“He may have been humble and humble, but he was unwavering in his pursuit of progress; was instrumental in passing laws such as the Fair Housing Act to Prevent Racial Discrimination in Housing, Title IX, to create more opportunities for women, and laws to protect our environment, “he said.
Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman elected to office, commended Mr. Mondale for his collaborative role in the Carter administration and for his 1984 election of Ms. Ferraro as his companion.
“He brought the president and vice president closer together and redefined the relationship as a true partnership,” Ms. Harris said in a statement Monday evening. “Vice President Mondale worked side by side with President Carter as the two sought to end the arms race, promote human rights and build peace.”
Ms. Harris said Mr. Mondale’s choice of Ms. Ferraro opened “a new door into the future” to borrow his words.
Former President Barack Obama said Monday night on Twitter that Mr. Mondale laid the foundation stone for future vice presidents to make important contributions to the White House administrations.
“Walter Mondale advocated progressive causes and changed the role of Vice President – that’s what executives like @Joe Biden could be the last in the room when decisions are made, “Obama said. “With the selection of Geraldine Ferraro, he also paved the way @VP Make history. Michelle and I send prayers to his family. “
Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Mr. Mondale’s home state of Minnesota who ran unsuccessfully for president last year, said on Twitter that he was a mentor and friend of hers and that he was kind and dignified until the end.
“There is a quote from Walter Mondale on the wall of the Carter Library at the end of her term,” said Ms. Klobuchar. We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace. “That sums up Walter Mondale’s life and ministry pretty well.”
Senator Dianne FeinsteinThe California Democrat said on Twitter that Mr. Mondale was highly regarded and loved on both sides of the aisle.
“This was a man of intelligence and integrity, and he practiced both of his long civil service careers as attorney general, ambassador, US senator, and vice president,” she said.
Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential candidate, called Mr. Mondale a visionary on Twitter Monday night.
“So much to say about Walter Mondale,” said Mr. Kaine. “I will always consider him the main sponsor of the Fair Housing Act and the first presidential candidate to ask a woman to join him on the ticket. Ahead of its time. “
The tributes to Mr. Mondale did not come exclusively from the left.
Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, said on Twitter Monday night that Mr Mondale was giving civil service an optimistic attitude.
“It’s hard to find a picture of Fritz Mondale that doesn’t have him smiling,” said Romney. “A happy and good soul who will surely be greeted by a loving God.”
Senator Lindsey GrahamThe South Carolina Republican and former presidential candidate offered condolences to Mr. Mondale’s family and friends on Twitter.
“He served his country with great honor and was delighted with his cause,” he said of Mr. Mondale. “A true officer who is missing.”
Senator Bill HagertyThe Tennessee Republican expressed his condolences to Mr. Mondale’s family on Twitter Monday night.
“While Walter Mondale and I had different political beliefs when I was US Amb. After Japan, a position he once held, he was always kind and kind with his time and advice, ”he said. “I will appreciate our calls and correspondence.”
The Rev. Franklin Graham, the leader of Samaritan’s Wallet, an evangelical organization, said on Twitter that Mr. Mondale had served the nation faithfully for years and that his family valued American prayers.
The opposition party in Mr. Mondale’s home state also nodded to him on Monday evening.
“Despite our obvious political differences, there is no denying that Mondale was a man of character who, in running the government, had the best interests of his Minnesotan colleagues in mind,” he said Republican Party of Minnesota said on twitter.