|Man Without Qualities|
Saturday, October 26, 2002
The Democrats are reported to be gravitating to selecting Walter Mondale as the replacement for Paul Wellstone in the Minnesota Senate race.
It seems a curious choice.
In the 1984 Presidential election Mr. Mondale carried Minnesota against Ronald Reagan by a margin of only 49.7% to 49.5%, and lost in every other State - carrying only the District of Columbia in addition to his home State. Reagan lost Minnesota by less than 4,000 votes.
Since that performance, Mr. Mondale has not been active in politics in any major way, although under President Bill Clinton Mr. Mondale served as ambassador to Japan from 1993 until 1996. In 1997, President Clinton also named Mr. Mondale cochair (with former Senator Nancy Kassebaum) of a bipartisan group to study the issue of campaign-financing reform.
None of that suggests a powerhouse waiting to go back on line. And the 74 years old Mr. Mondale may understand that better than, say, Tom Daschle. The New York Times reports:
Mr. Mondale's friends said the Minnesota Democrat, who was Jimmy Carter's vice president, had not decided, and would wait until after the funeral or memorial services before doing so.
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