|Mondale Likely to Replace Wellstone on Ballot|
Oct. 28, 2002 -- According to numerous press accounts, the Democratic Farmers and Labor party of Minnesota is likely to announce this week plans to replace the name of late Sen. Paul Wellstone with that of former Vice President Walter Mondale.
News reports said that party leaders and members of Wellstone's family had met with Mondale and urged him to run.
Mondale served as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota from 1964 to 1976. He left the Senate to become Jimmy Carter's running mate in that year's presidential campaign. Carter was elected and Mondale became the 42nd Vice President of the United States.
Mondale ran for president in 1984 against incumbent Ronald Reagan. He was soundly defeated but made history by choosing Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate. Ferraro was the first woman to appear on a major party's presidential ticket.
According to most major news services, Mondale appears to be headed back out on the campaign trail after a nearly 20 year political hiatus.
"In sneakers, khakis and an old sweater, 74-year-old Walter Mondale walked into the lobby of his downtown law office Saturday -- and back on to the center stage of American politics. The former vice president embraced David Wellstone, son of the late Minnesota senator, according to someone who was there. His eyes reddened, Mr. Wellstone, 37, said he was 'absolutely certain' his father would want the former vice president to run, according to the person who attended the meeting," reported the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 28.
Wellstone campaign manager Jeff Blodgett added that the campaign's volunteers would be at Mondale's disposal, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is also reported to have personally asked Mondale to run according to various new reports.
On CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday Oct. 27, Daschle was asked if Mondale was the right choice to replace Wellstone. Daschle strongly endorsed the former vice president saying, "I think he would. I don't think there's any question. There's such a tremendous reverence for him, respect for him. The contribution he's already made to his country and to public life is something that's pretty remarkable."
The state Democratic party has said it will submit a the name of their new candidate to state elections officials on Thursday, Oct. 31. Several news organizations reported Mondale will likely announce his decision before that, perhaps as early as Tuesday after a memorial services for Sen. Wellstone.
Many state and national Democrats have welcomed the news of a possible Mondale run, saying the former vice president closely matches Wellstone's liberal political philosophy.
"He's a person who has respect from everybody. He's a person who would look forward to doing the things that Paul Wellstone wanted to do -- do something about health care reform, take care of the underprivileged by passing a minimum wage. He would do something about prescription drugs. He would do things that simply need to be done," said Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada told CNN on Oct. 27.
If he runs, Mondale will face Republican Norm Coleman, the former mayor of St. Paul, who was locked in a close race with Wellstone before the senator's death in a plane crash on Friday Oct. 25. Coleman has suspended campaign activities, saying politics should take a backseat to mourning and memorial services.