Walter Mondale, former US Vice President, dies aged 93

Walter Mondale, former US Vice President, dies aged 93
Walter Mondale, a liberal icon who lost the most lopsided presidential election after bluntly telling voters to expect a tax increase if he won, died on Monday (Jack Smith/AP)

Former US Vice President Walter Mondale, a liberal icon who lost the most lopsided presidential election after bluntly telling voters to expect a tax increase if he won, has died.

Mr Mondale’s family says he died on Monday in Minneapolis aged 93.

He served Minnesota as attorney general and US senator, and followed the trail blazed by his political mentor, Hubert H Humphrey, to the vice presidency, serving under Democrat Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.

Mr Mondale lost the most lopsided presidential election in 1984 (Jim Mone/AP)

Mr Mondale’s own try for the White House, in 1984, came at the zenith of Ronald Reagan’s popularity and his selection of Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate made him the first major-party presidential nominee to put a woman on the ticket.

On Election Day, he carried only his home state and the District of Columbia.

“I did my best,” Mr Mondale said the day after the election, and blamed no-one but himself.

“I think you know I’ve never really warmed up to television,” he said. “In fairness to television, it never really warmed up to me.”

Years later, Mr Mondale said his campaign message had proven to be the right one.

Jimmy Carter chose Mr Mondale as his running mate in 1977 (Peter Bregg/AP)

He said: “History has vindicated me that we would have to raise taxes.

“It was very unpopular, but it was undeniably correct.”

After his White House years, Mr Mondale served from 1993-96 as President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Japan, fighting for US access to markets ranging from cars to mobile phones.

He helped avert a trade war in June 1995 over cars and car parts, persuading Japanese officials to give American automakers more access to Japanese dealers and pushing Japanese carmakers to buy US parts.

He kept his ties to the Clintons and, in 2008, he endorsed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, switching his allegiance only after Barack Obama sealed the nomination.

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