Former President Jimmy Carter has credited Walter F. Mondale, his former vice president who died Monday at the age of 93, with transforming the office from a secondary role to a government partner with his political skills and personal integrity.
Mr Carter led the tributes to Mr Mondale, many of which came from the political left.
They recalled Mr. Mondale, the 42nd Vice President and former United States Senator who lost the 1984 presidential election in a landslide to Ronald Reagan, as a tireless advocate for liberal causes like civil rights reform and a gracious official who chose the first female companion on a major holiday ticket, Geraldine Ferraro.
In a statement, Mr. Carter, 96, called Mr. Mondale, nicknamed Fritz, the best vice president in American history.
“During our administration, Fritz used his political skills and personal integrity to transform the vice-presidency into a dynamic and political force that had never been seen before and that still exists today,” Mr. Carter. “He was an invaluable partner and an excellent servant to the people of Minnesota, the United States and the world. Fritz Mondale has provided all of us with a model of public service and private behavior. “
Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman elected to the post, praised Mr. Mondale for his collaborative role in the Carter administration and for his selection of Ms. Ferraro in 1984 as vice president.
“He brought the president and vice president closer together, redefining the relationship as a true partnership,” Ms. Harris said in a statement Monday night. “Vice President Mondale worked side by side with President Carter as the two strove to end the arms race, promote human rights and bring peace.”
Ms Harris said Mr Mondale’s choice of Ms Ferraro opened “a new door to the future,” to use her words.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, home of Mr. Mondale, who unsuccessfully ran for president last year, said on Twitter that he had been a mentor and friend to her, and that he was kind and dignified until the end.
“On the wall of the Carter Library is a quote from Walter Mondale at the end of their term,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “’We spoke the truth. We obeyed the law. We have kept the peace. That pretty much sums up the life and service of Walter Mondale.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, said on Twitter that Mr. Mondale is well respected and appreciated on both sides of the aisle.
“He was a man of intelligence and integrity, and he exercised both during his long public service career as attorney general, ambassador, US senator and vice president,” he said. she declared.
Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the Democratic candidate for vice-president in 2016, called Mondale on Twitter Monday evening as visionary.
“So much to say about Walter Mondale,” Mr. Kaine said. “I will always think of him as the main sponsor of the Fair Housing Act and the first presidential candidate to ask a woman to join him on the ticket. Ahead of its time.
Tributes to Mr. Mondale did not come exclusively from the left.
Senator Bill Hagerty, Republican of Tennessee, sent his condolences to Mr. Mondale’s family on Twitter Monday evening.
“Whereas Walter Mondale and I had different political convictions when I was American ambassador. in Japan, a position he once held, he has always been courteous and kind to his time and advice, ”he said. “I will cherish our calls and our correspondence.”
Reverend Franklin Graham, the head of Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical organization, said on Twitter that Mr. Mondale had served the nation faithfully for years and that his family would appreciate Americans’ prayers.