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President Biden speaks at memorial service for former VP Mondale

President Joe Biden is among the dignitaries in Minneapolis on Sunday to remember former Vice President Walter Mondale at a memorial service that his family delayed for a year due to the pandemic.

Mondale died in April 2021 at age 93. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden wanted to attend the memorial because he had “an important personal relationship” with Mondale.

Biden has described Mondale as “one of our nation’s most dedicated patriots and public servants.”

Other speakers for the event at the University of Minnesota include Gov. Tim Walz, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the university’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Presidential historian Jon Meacham will deliver the keynote eulogy.

Admission to the memorial service is by invitation only, but the Pioneer Press is livestreaming it. A public steam also is available here. 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 defeated Republican Ronald Reagan.

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. In 2002, Mondale came out of political retirement to run, unsuccessfully, for the Senate in place of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, who had died in a plane crash.

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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