Yesterday, former Vice President Walter Mondale, was honored by the University of Minnesota, the school where he teaches, as “a living legacy.” The event discussed policy issues and reminisced about the White House years, but the program wasn’t hosted in Minneapolis, instead the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs put on the event in Washington D.C. at George Washington University and the Georgetown Four Seasons Hotel.
Vice President Joe Biden made remarks at the event and also attended the gala, making for interesting optics standing next to Mondale, another Vice President who ran for the highest office.
Former President Jimmy Carter, now age 90, also spoke at the event. “I love the guy,” Mondale said of Carter in The Washington Post.
The U sent faculty and staff to the soiree, including President Eric Kaler, Eric Schwartz, Dean of the Humphrey School , local political commentator Professor Larry Jacobs, and liberal activist Professor Myron Orfield. According to the Star Tribune, the event was a part of a larger fundraising effort that raised $2 million for student scholarships at the Humphrey School.
Per the Star Tribune, Schwartz, dean of the Humphrey School, “said no figure has played a bigger role in the life of the school — and perhaps modern-day Minnesota politics — than Mondale.”
Governor Mark Dayton, Lt. Governor Tina Flint Smith, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken also attended the event, with Smith tweeting from the daytime panel discussions, but not from the Four Seasons gala.
The panel discussions were co-hosted by the U’s Humphrey School and George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and the evening gala was paid for by the U with “support from Best Buy Co. Inc.”
While any cost to Minnesota taxpayers for the U to host the event is unknown, it’s somewhat fitting that it was held in Washington D.C., which delivered three electoral votes to Mondale when he ran for President in 1984. His loss to President Ronald Reagan was the largest electoral landslide in history. Mondale won by a mere 3,761 votes in his home state of Minnesota.