Biden to speak at memorial Sunday for former VP Mondale

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to speak at a memorial service in Minnesota on Sunday for former Vice President Walter Mondale, who died last April at age 93.

Biden will travel to Minneapolis for the event at the University of Minnesota. The president has described Mondale as a “dear friend and mentor” and “one of our nation’s most dedicated patriots and public servants.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden wanted to attend the service because Mondale “is someone he had an important personal relationship with.”

Other confirmed speakers include Gov. Tim Walz, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and presidential historian Jon Meacham.

Admission to the service, which was delayed for a year by the pandemic, is by invitation only, but it will be livestreamed for the general public. It’s scheduled to run from 1:30 to 3 p.m. CDT.

Mondale followed the trail blazed by his political mentor, Hubert H. Humphrey, from Minnesota politics to the U.S. Senate and the vice presidency, serving under Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. He lost one of the most lopsided presidential elections after bluntly telling voters in 1984 to expect a tax increase if he won.

But well after his bruising loss, Mondale remained a revered liberal elder and went on to serve as ambassador to Japan under President Bill Clinton.

Biden paid tribute to Mondale at the time of his death last year, saying: “There have been few senators, before or since, who commanded such universal respect. … It was Walter Mondale who defined the vice presidency as a full partnership, and helped provide a model for my service.”

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