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Walter Mondale

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Walter Mondale

Walter Mondale
Mondale in 1977
42nd Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Nelson Rockefeller
Succeeded by George H. W. Bush
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
December 30, 1964 – December 30, 1976
Preceded by Hubert Humphrey
Succeeded by Wendell Anderson
24th United States Ambassador to Japan
In office
September 21, 1993 – December 15, 1996
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Michael Armacost
Succeeded by Tom Foley
23rd Attorney General of Minnesota
In office
January 15, 1960 – January 13, 1964
Governor Orville Freeman
Elmer Andersen
Karl Rolvaag
Preceded by Miles Lord
Succeeded by Robert Mattson
Personal details
Born Walter Frederick Mondale
(1928-01-05) January 5, 1928
Ceylon, Minnesota
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Joan Adams
(1955–2014; her death)
Children Theodore A. Mondale
Eleanor Mondale (deceased)
William Mondale
Alma mater Macalester College
University of Minnesota
Profession Lawyer
Religion Presbyterian
Signature Cursive signature in ink
Military service
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1951–1953
Rank Corporal
Unit Fort Knox

Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale (born January 5, 1928) is an American Democratic Party politician who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States (1977–1981) under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator from Minnesota (1964–1976). He was the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in the United States presidential election of 1984. At more than 33 years, he has had the longest retirement of any Vice President.

Mondale was born in Ceylon, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1951. He then served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War before earning a law degree in 1956. He married Joan Adams in 1955. Working as a lawyer in Minneapolis, Mondale was appointed to the position of attorney general in 1960 by Governor Orville Freeman and was elected to a full term as Attorney General in 1962 with 60% of votes cast. He was appointed to the U. S. Senate by Governor Karl F. Rolvaag upon the resignation of Senator Hubert H. Humphrey consequent to Humphrey's election as Vice President. Mondale was subsequently elected to a full Senate term in 1966 and again in 1972, resigning that post in 1976 as he prepared to succeed to the Vice Presidency in 1977. While in the Senate, he supported consumer protection, fair housing, tax reform, and the desegregation of schools. Importantly, he served as a member of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities ("Church Committee").[1] He opposed United States involvement in the Vietnam War.

In 1976 Carter, the Democratic presidential nominee, chose Mondale as his vice presidential running mate in the forthcoming George H.W. Bush.

In 1984, Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination and campaigned for a nuclear freeze, the Equal Rights Amendment, an increase in taxes, and a reduction of U.S. public debt. Mondale was defeated by President Reagan in one of the biggest landslides in US history, gaining electoral votes from only his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia.

After the election, Mondale joined the Minnesota-based law firm of Dorsey & Whitney and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (1986–93), and was credited with successes in Poland and Hungary. President Bill Clinton appointed Mondale United States Ambassador to Japan in 1993; he retired in 1996. Mondale then returned to working at Dorsey & Whitney and remains active in the Democratic Party.


  • Early life 1
  • Entry into politics 2
  • U.S. Senator 3
    • Policies 3.1
    • Committees 3.2
    • Apollo 204 accident 3.3
    • Church intelligence committee 3.4
  • Vice Presidency 4
    • 1980 election 4.1
  • Post Vice-Presidency 5
    • Presidential nominee of 1984 5.1
    • Private citizen and ambassador 5.2
    • 2002 Senate election and beyond 5.3
  • Family and personal life 6
  • In popular culture 7
    • Portrayals 7.1
    • In alternate histories 7.2
    • Others 7.3
  • Published works 8
  • Electoral history 9
  • Records 10
  • References 11
  • Further reading 12
  • External links 13

Early life

Walter Frederick Mondale was born in Ceylon, Minnesota, the son of Claribel Hope (née Cowan), a part-time music teacher, and Theodore Sigvaard Mondale, a Methodist minister.[2][3][4] His paternal grandparents were Norwegian,[5] and his mother, the daughter of an immigrant from Ontario, was of Scottish and English descent.[6] The surname "Mondale" comes from Mundal by Fjærland, in the Sogndal municipality in Norway.[7] He attended public schools. His half-brother Lester Mondale was a Unitarian minister.[8]

Mondale was educated at Macalester College in St. Paul and the University of Minnesota, where he earned his B.A. in political science, graduating in 1951.[9] He did not have enough money to attend law school. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served for two years at Fort Knox during the Korean War, reaching the rank of corporal. He married Joan Adams in 1955. Through the support of the G.I. Bill, he was able to attend law school, and graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1956. While at law school he served on the Minnesota Law Review and as a law clerk in the Minnesota Supreme Court under Justice Thomas F. Gallagher. He began practicing law in Minneapolis, and continued to do so for four years before entering the political arena.[10]

Entry into politics

Mondale became involved in national politics in the 1940s. At the age of 20, he was visible in Minnesota politics by helping organize 1964 Democratic National Convention, Mondale played a major role in the proposed but ultimately unsuccessful compromise by which the national Democratic Party offered the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party two at-large seats.

U.S. Senator

Senator Walter F. Mondale

On December 30, 1964, Mondale was appointed by Minnesota Governor Karl Rolvaag to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by Hubert Humphrey's resignation after being elected Vice President of the United States. Mondale was elected to the Senate for the first time in 1966, defeating Republican candidate Robert A. Forsythe, by 53.9% to 45.2%.



Political offices
Preceded by
Nelson Rockefeller
Vice President of the United States
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
Succeeded by
George H. W. Bush
Legal offices
Preceded by
Miles Lord
Minnesota Attorney General
Succeeded by
Robert W. Mattson, Sr.
United States Senate
Preceded by
Hubert Humphrey
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Minnesota
December 30, 1964 – December 30, 1976
Served alongside: Eugene McCarthy, Hubert Humphrey
Succeeded by
Wendell Anderson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Paul Wellstone
Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee
for United States Senator from Minnesota (Class 2)

Succeeded by
Al Franken
Preceded by
Jimmy Carter
Democratic presidential nominee
Succeeded by
Michael Dukakis
Preceded by
Thomas Eagleton
Sargent Shriver(1)
Democratic vice presidential nominee
1976, 1980
Succeeded by
Geraldine Ferraro
Preceded by
Hubert Humphrey
Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee
for United States Senator from Minnesota (Class 2)

1966, 1972
Succeeded by
Wendell Anderson
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Michael Armacost
United States Ambassador to Japan
Succeeded by
Tom Foley
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
David Ige
Governor of Hawaii
United States order of precedence
Former Vice President of the United States
Succeeded by
Dan Quayle
Former Vice President of the United States
Notes and references
1. Thomas Eagleton was the original Vice Presidential nominee in 1972. He withdrew from the race and was replaced by Sargent Shriver.
  • Congressional biography
  • Senate Leaders Lecture Series Address
  • Minnesota Public Radio: Coleman, Mondale debate on eve of election (November 4, 2002) – featuring audio of the 2002 debate
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs: The Mondale Lectures on Public Service
  • Great Norwegians
  • Two Views from Pennsylvania Avenue
  • List of New York Times articles on Mondale
  • Senator Mondale transfers money from NASA to social programs using political maneuvers
  • / Lost in Space What Went Wrong with NASA?
  • Walter F. Mondale: An Inventory of His Papers, including his Vice Presidential Papers, at the Minnesota Historical Society
  • Walter Mondale Oral History, at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training

External links

  • Gillon, Steven M. The Democrats’ Dilemma: Walter F. Mondale and the Liberal Legacy (1992)
  • Mondale, Walter. The Accountability of Power (1975)
  • Mondale, Walter. The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics (2010).

Further reading

  1. ^ Staff Report of Church Committee, archived by Federation of American Scientists, retried 22 October, 2014.
  2. ^ "American President: Walter Mondale". Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Walter Mondale". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Walter F. Mondale, 42nd Vice President (1977–1981)". U.S. Senate. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Jimmy Carter". American Experience. PBS. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Ancestry of Walter Mondale". Retrieved February 20, 2012. 
  7. ^ Information Fjærland website
  8. ^ Schafer, Ed (February 18, 1977). "Lester Mondale Treasures Privacy". The News and Courier (Charleston, SC). p. 16-A. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mondale, Walter Frederick, (1928 – )".  
  10. ^ Gillon, Steven M. (1992). The Democrats' dilemma: Walter F. Mondale and the Liberal Legacy. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.  
  11. ^ Minnesota Historical Society
  12. ^ Lin, Judy (October 7, 2010). "George McGovern: the personal and political toll of mental illness". UCLA Today. Retrieved September 6, 2012. Six colleagues – from  
  13. ^ Steven M. Gillon, The Democrats' Dilemma: Walter F. Mondale and the Liberal Legacy 1995) pp. xxiii, xxvi, 8, 303
  14. ^ Steven M. Gillon, The Democrats' Dilemma: Walter F. Mondale and the Liberal Legacy pp 149–51
  15. ^ Steven M. Gillon, The Democrats' Dilemma, pp 68–69, 111, quote p. 69
  16. ^
  17. ^ Retrieved February 13, 2013
  18. ^ "The Nation: The Straightest Arrow" (subscription required).  
  19. ^ a b c "Washington Goes to the Moon (Part 2)". Soundprint. yes. May 24, 2001. NPR. WAMU 88.5 FM. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  20. ^ Garber, Steve (February 3, 2003). "NASA Apollo Mission Apollo-1 – Phillips Report". NASA History Office. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 
  21. ^  
  22. ^ Paul Kengor, Wreath Layer or Policy Player: The Vice President's Role in Foreign Policy (2000) p. 85
  23. ^ "Biography: Walter F. Mondale". PBS American Experience. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  24. ^ Trying to Win the Peace, by Even Thomas, Time
  25. ^ Mondale's Acceptance Speech, 1984, AllPolitics
  26. ^ 1984 Presidential Election Data—Minnesota at the Wayback Machine (archived July 11, 2001)
  27. ^ Address by Vice President Walter Mondale, September 4, 2002 in the United States Senate
    Leader's Lecture Series Speakers
  28. ^ Mondale Concedes to Coleman, Fox News Channel
  29. ^ [2]
  30. ^ [3]
  31. ^ Al Franken: God Spoke at the Internet Movie Database
  32. ^ Senate recount trial: Judges' ruling is boon to Franken, Minneapolis Star Tribune
  33. ^ "Joan Mondale, wife of former VP Walter, dies at 83". December 15, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Kara Kennedy, Eleanor Mondale dead at 51". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  35. ^ Biography of Walter F. Mondale
  36. ^ Walter Mondale to be new Consul General in Minneapolis, press release from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  37. ^ Finding Aid: Walter F. Mondale Papers
  38. ^ "Walter F. Mondale". University of Minnesota.


The University of Minnesota Law Library's Walter F. Mondale website is devoted to Mondale's senatorial career. Mondale's work is documented in full text access to selected proceedings and debates on the floor of the Senate as recorded in the Congressional Record.[38]

In the "Walter F. Mondale Papers" at the Minnesota Historical Society, digital content is available for research use.[37] Contents include speech files, handwritten notes, memoranda, annotated briefings, schedules, correspondence, and visual materials. The collection includes senatorial, vice presidential, ambassadorial, political papers and campaign files, and personal papers documenting most aspects of Mondale's 60‑years-long career, including all of his public offices, campaigns, and Democratic Party and other non-official activities.


Electoral history

  • The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics, Mondale's memoir, was published in 2010
  • Twelve Years and Thirteen Days: Remembering Paul and Sheila Wellstone, co-written with Terry Gydesen, was published in 2003
  • Crisis and Opportunity in a Changing Japan, co-written with William Regis Farrell, was published in 1999
  • The Accountability of Power: Toward a Responsible Presidency, was written in 1976.

Published works


In alternate histories


In popular culture

On December 5, 2007, Norwegian minister of foreign affairs Jonas Gahr Støre announced that Walter Mondale would be named Honorary Consul-General of Norway, representing the Norwegian state in Minnesota.[36]

While he was in office, Twin Cities Public Television produced a documentary about him entitled Walter Mondale: There's a Fjord in Your Past, a play on the well-known advertising slogan, "There's a Ford in Your Future".

Mondale has deep connections to his ancestral Norway. Upon entering the Senate in 1964 he took over the seat of vice president Hubert Humphrey, another Norwegian-American. In later years Mondale has served on the executive committee of the Peace Prize Forum, an annual conference co-sponsored by the Norwegian Nobel Institute and five Midwestern colleges of Norwegian heritage. During Norway's Centennial Celebration in 2005, he chaired the committee to promote and develop cultural activities between Norway and Norwegian-American organizations.

Mondale has maintained strong ties to the University of Minnesota Law School. In 2002 the law school renamed its building Walter F. Mondale Hall. Mondale has contributed cameo appearances to the Law School's annual T.O.R.T. ("Theater of the Relatively Talentless") productions and has allowed his name to be used as the nickname of the school's hockey team: the "Fighting Mondales".

Walter Mondale has a residence near Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. Mondale is a Presbyterian. He enjoys fishing, reading Shakespeare and historical accounts, barbecuing, skiing, watching Monty Python, and playing tennis.[35]

The Mondales' daughter, Eleanor, was a television personality. She also had radio talk shows in Chicago, and a long-running program on WCCO (AM) in Minneapolis. She died of brain cancer at her home in Minnesota on September 17, 2011, at the age of 51.[34]

The Mondales' eldest son Ted is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Nazca Solutions, a technology fulfillment venture. He is also a former Minnesota state senator. In 1998, Ted Mondale unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for Minnesota governor, running as a fiscal moderate who had distanced himself from labor.

His wife, Joan Mondale, was a national advocate for the arts and was the Honorary Chairman of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities during the Carter Administration. On February 3, 2014, she died at a hospice in Minneapolis surrounded by members of their family.[33]

Mondale in 2010

Family and personal life

Following the U.S. presidential election of 2004 and the mid‑term elections of 2006, Mondale is seen talking with Al Franken about the possibility of the latter running for Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate seat in 2008 in the documentary Al Franken: God Spoke.[31] In the film, Mondale encourages Franken to run, but cautions him, saying that Coleman's allies and the Republican Party were going to look for anything they could use against him. Franken ultimately ran and won the 2008 Senate election by 312 votes after the election results had been contested in court by Coleman until June 30, 2009.[32] Mondale and Senator Amy Klobuchar stood with Franken in the Senate chamber when Franken was sworn in on July 7, 2009.

In 2004 Mondale became co-chairman of the Constitution Project's bipartisan Right to Counsel Committee.[29] He endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for the Presidency of the United States and supported her campaign for the White House in 2008.[30] On June 3, 2008, following the final primary contests, Mondale switched his endorsement to Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who had clinched the nomination the previous evening.

Mondale lost the election, finishing with 1,067,246 votes (47.34%) to Coleman's 1,116,697 (49.53%) out of 2,254,639 votes cast, earning him the unique distinction of having lost a statewide election in all 50 states as the nominee of a major party (he lost the other 49 in the 1984 Presidential Election). Upon conceding defeat, Mondale stated: "At the end of what will be my last campaign, I want to say to Minnesota, you always treated me well, you always listened to me."[28]

During his debate with the Republican nominee, former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, Mondale emphasized his own experience in foreign affairs while painting Coleman as a finger-in-the-wind opportunist. "We've seen you shift around, Norman", Mondale said, alluding to Coleman's past as an anti-war college activist and, more recently, as a Democrat who had changed his party allegiance to the GOP while serving as mayor of St. Paul.

In 2002 Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, who was running for re-election, died in a plane crash just 11 days before the November 5 election. At the age of 74, Mondale replaced Wellstone on the ballot, at the urging of Wellstone's relatives. This Senate seat was the one that Mondale himself had held, before resigning to become Vice President in 1977.

Former Vice President Mondale giving a lecture in the Senate in 2002

2002 Senate election and beyond

Mondale spoke before the Senate on September 4, 2002, when he delivered a lecture on his service, with commentary on the transformation of the office of the Vice President during the Carter administration, the Senate cloture rule for ending debate, and his view on the future of the Senate in U.S. political history. The lecture was a part of a continuing Senate "Leaders Lecture Series" that ran from 1998 to 2002.[27]

Until his appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Mondale was a Distinguished University Fellow in Law and Public Affairs at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. In 1990 Mondale established the Mondale Policy Forum at the Humphrey Institute. The forum has brought together leading scholars and policymakers for annual conferences on domestic and international issues. He also served on nonprofit boards of directors for the Guthrie Theatre Foundation, the Mayo Foundation, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the Diogenes Institute of Higher Learning, the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, the RAND Corporation, and the University of Minnesota Foundation. His corporate board memberships included BlackRock Advantage Term Trust and other BlackRock Mutual Funds, Cargill Incorporated, CNA Financial Corporation, the Encyclopædia Britannica, First Financial Fund, and other Prudential Mutual Funds, Northwest Airlines, and United HealthCare Corporation.

Following the election, Mondale returned to private law practice, with Dorsey & Whitney in Minnesota in 1987. From 1986 to 1993, Mondale was chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. During the presidency of Bill Clinton, he was U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 1993 to 1996, chaired a bipartisan group to study campaign finance reform, and was Clinton's special envoy to Indonesia in 1998.

Walter Mondale as U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

Private citizen and ambassador

Mondale received 37,577,352 votes—a total of 40.6% of the popular vote in the election. Mondale received 40–49% in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In the election, Mondale was defeated in a landslide, winning only the District of Columbia and his home state of Minnesota and even there his margin of victory was fewer than 3,800 votes,[26] securing only 13 electoral votes to Reagan's 525. The result was the worst electoral college defeat for any Democratic Party candidate in history, and the worst for any major-party candidate since Alf Landon's loss to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.

In the first televised debate, Mondale performed unexpectedly well, questioning Reagan's age and capacity to endure the grueling demands of the presidency (Reagan was the oldest person to serve as president—73 at the time—while Mondale was 56). In the next debate on October 21, 1984, Reagan deflected the issue by quipping, "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

Mondale ran a liberal campaign, supporting a nuclear freeze and the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). He spoke against Reagan's economic policies and in support of reducing federal budget deficits. However, he was going up against a popular incumbent and his campaign was widely considered ineffective. Also, he was perceived as supporting the poor at the expense of the middle class. Southern whites and northern blue collar workers who usually voted Democratic switched their support to Reagan because they credited him with the economic boom and saw him as strong on national security issues.

When he made his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, Mondale said: "By the end of my first term, I will reduce the Reagan budget deficit by two‑thirds. Let's tell the truth. It must be done, it must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did."[25] While this was meant to show that Mondale would be honest with voters, it was largely interpreted as a campaign pledge to raise taxes to spend on domestic programs, which was unappealing to many voters.

At the Democratic Convention, Mondale chose U.S. Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate, making her the first woman nominated for that position by a major party. Aides later said that Mondale was determined to establish a precedent with his vice presidential candidate, considering San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, also a female and a Jew, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African American, and San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, a Mexican American, as other finalists for the nomination.[24] Others preferred Senator Lloyd Bentsen because he would appeal to the Deep South, or even nomination rival Gary Hart. Ferraro, as a Catholic, came under fire from some Catholic Church leaders for being pro-choice. Much more controversy erupted over her changing positions regarding the release of her husband's tax returns, and her own ethics record in the House. Ferraro was on the defensive throughout much of the campaign, largely negating her breakthrough as the first woman on a major national ticket, and the first Italian American to reach that level in American politics.

Mondale ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1984 election, and from the early going, he was the frontrunner. His opposition included Rev. Jesse Jackson and Senator Gary Hart of Colorado. Hart pulled an upset by winning the New Hampshire primary in March, but Mondale had a large portion of the party leadership behind him. To great effect, Mondale used the Wendy's slogan "Where's the beef?" to describe Hart's policies as lacking depth. Jackson, widely regarded as the first serious African-American candidate for President, held on longer, but Mondale clinched the nomination with the majority of delegates on the first ballot.

After losing the 1980 election, Mondale returned briefly to the practice of law at Winston and Strawn, a large Chicago-based law firm, but he had no intention of staying out of politics for long.

Vice President Mondale bust from the Senate collection

Presidential nominee of 1984

Post Vice-Presidency

Mondale faced difficulties in the 1984 Presidential election because he "lacked charisma" in comparison to rivals like Senator Gary Hart or the Reverend Jesse Jackson.[23]

Carter and Walter Mondale are the longest-living post-presidential team in American history. On May 23, 2006, they had been out of office for 9,254 days (25 years, 4 months and 3 days), surpassing the former record established by President John Adams and Vice President Thomas Jefferson, both of whom died on July 4, 1826. On September 8, 2012, Carter surpassed Herbert Hoover as the President with the longest retirement from the office. On April 23, 2014, Mondale surpassed Richard Nixon as the Vice-President with the longest retirement from that office at 12,146 days (33 years, 3 months and 3 days).

Carter and Mondale were renominated at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York.

1980 election

Under Carter, Mondale traveled extensively throughout the nation and the world advocating the administration's foreign policy. Mondale was the first vice president to have an office in the White House and established the concept of an "activist Vice President." Mondale established the tradition of weekly lunches with the president, which continues to this day. More importantly, he expanded the vice president's role from that of figurehead to presidential advisor, full-time participant, and troubleshooter for the administration. Subsequent vice presidents have followed this model in the administrations in which they serve.[22]

When Jimmy Carter won the Democratic nomination for president in 1976, he chose Mondale as his running mate. The ticket was narrowly elected on November 2, 1976, and Mondale was inaugurated as Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1977. He became the fourth vice president in four years, the other three being: Spiro Agnew (1969–73), Gerald Ford (1973–1974), and Nelson Rockefeller (1974–77).

Walter Mondale and Jimmy Carter, in front of Presidential helicopter Marine One in January 1979.

Vice Presidency

In 1975, Mondale served on the Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church, that investigated alleged abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Church intelligence committee

Mondale explained his actions in a 2001 interview: "... I think that by forcing a public confrontation about these heretofore secret and deep concerns about the safety and the management of the program, it forced NASA to restructure and reorganize the program in a way that was much safer."[19] (In the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, Mondale is portrayed as being entirely against the space program and wanting to shut it down following the disaster.)

While the Committee, as a whole, believed that NASA should have informed Congress of the Phillips review results in 1966, its final report issued on January 30, 1968, concluded (as had NASA's own accident investigation completed on April 5, 1967), that "the findings of the [Phillips] task force had no effect on the accident, did not lead to the accident, and were not related to the accident". Yet Mondale wrote a minority opinion accusing NASA of "evasiveness,... lack of candor, ... patronizing attitude exhibited toward Congress, ... refusal to respond fully and forthrightly to legitimate congressional inquiries, and ... solicitous concern for corporate sensitivities at a time of national tragedy".[21]

The controversy spread to both houses of Congress and grew (through the efforts of three of Mondale's fellow committee members, Republicans Margaret Chase Smith, Edward Brooke and Charles H. Percy) to include the second-guessing of NASA's original selection in 1961 of North American as the prime Apollo spacecraft contractor, which Webb became forced to defend. The House of Representatives NASA oversight committee, which was conducting its own hearings and had picked up on the controversy, was ultimately given a copy of the Phillips report.

Seamans was afraid Mondale might somehow be in possession of a copy (which he was not), so he admitted that NASA often reviewed its contractors' performance, with both positive and negative results, however that was nothing extraordinary. Under repeated questioning from Mondale, Webb promised that he would investigate whether this "Phillips Report" existed, and if so, to see if a controlled release could be made to Congress. Immediately after the hearing, Webb saw the Phillips report for the first time.[19]

Both Seamans and Mueller had also been called to testify at this session. Mueller denied the report's existence, even though he must have been well aware of it, as he had appended his own strongly-worded letter to the copy sent to North American president Lee Atwood.[20]

[19] In February, a reporter passed a leak to Mondale, of the existence of

In 1967, Mondale served on the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee, then chaired by Clinton P. Anderson, when astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White, and Roger Chaffee were killed in a fire on January 27 while testing the Apollo 204 (later renumbered Apollo 1) spacecraft. NASA Administrator James E. Webb secured the approval of President Lyndon B. Johnson for NASA to internally investigate the cause of the accident according to its established procedures, subject to Congressional oversight. NASA's procedure called for the Deputy Administrator (and de facto general manager), Dr. Robert C. Seamans, to appoint and oversee an investigative panel.

Apollo 204 accident

Mondale rotated on and off numerous committees, including the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee; the Finance Committee; the Labor and Public Welfare Committee; the Budget Committee; and the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. He also served as chairman of the Select Committee on Equal Education Opportunity and as chairman of the Intelligence Committee's Domestic Task Force. He additionally served as chairman of the Labor and Public Welfare Committee's subcommittee on Children and Youth, as well as chairman of the Senate subcommittee on social security financing.[18]


During the Johnson presidency Mondale supported the Vietnam War, but after Richard Nixon became President in 1969, he began to oppose it and participated in legislation aimed at restricting Nixon's ability to prolong the war. Mondale on the issue of abortion is pro-choice. [1] [17]

[16] as the primary enforcer of the law.Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity's HUD, which prohibits discrimination in housing and created Fair Housing Act Mondale was a chief sponsor of the federal [15] He took a liberal position on civil rights issues, which proved acceptable in Minnesota, a state with "a minuscule black population".[14] Mondale showed little or no interest in foreign policy until about 1974, when he realized that some knowledge was necessary if he had loftier aspirations than the Senate. He developed a centrist position, avoiding alignment with either the party's hawks (such as [13] Mondale worked hard to build up the center of the party on economic and social issues. Unlike his own father, a fervent liberal, he was not a crusader for the New Deal. Instead he realized the Democratic base (especially ethnic blue collar workers) was gradually moving to the right and he worked to keep their support.


. 94th congresses, and 93rd, 92nd, 91st, 90th, 89th, 88th carried Minnesota. He served in the President Nixon with over 57% of the vote, even as reelection to the Senate That year, Mondale won [12]

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