Biden: Mondale saved me from the darkness

The crash happened while Biden was away in Washington a few weeks after he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Biden was 30 years old, and his sons, Beau and Hunter, faced a long period of rehabilitation and recovery.

“The last thing I wanted to do was go to the U.S. Senate after that. We had elected a governor, a Democrat. He could appoint a Democrat. And I got my brother to talk to him about who he would appoint. “But there was Fritz and Joan; they hugged me,” Biden said, referring to Mondale by his longtime nickname.

He added: “It’s not just being cute, but bringing me in. They came to the hospital to see my boys.”

Biden said Mondale and others, including then-Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield and then-Senate. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) Persuaded him to give the Senate a chance for at least six months – and then kept him busy getting his mind off his family tragedy.

“They kept me engaged. They helped me get up when it was easy to give up,” Biden said.

The Covid-19 pandemic had delayed the memorial to Mondale, who died in April 2021 at the age of 93. He served as vice president under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981, but was at the wrong end of a landslide when he tried to defeat President Ronald Reagan in 1984. On Sunday, Biden referred to Mondale “one of the great giants of American history. … Fritz was a giant in American political history.”

Last week, Biden spoke at a memorial service for Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become Secretary of State. Albright died in March at the age of 84. “In the 20th and 21st centuries, freedom had no greater master than Madeleine Korbel Albright,” Biden said at Washington National Cathedral.

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