Of all the Presidential also-rans in my lifetime, I think Walter Mondale would have been the best President.  Mondale has been unfairly tagged as a “loser,” because he had the misfortune of competing with Ronald Reagan at the peak of his popularity, an election in which any Democratic nominee would have been trounced.  But, in fact, Mondale was among the most gifted politicians of his generation and a profoundly good man — widely respected among peers for his wisdom, competence, humor, and decency.  Here’s the Times’ obituary, and, if you’re a political junkie with 90 minutes to spare, watch the first President debate from 1984; based on his debate performance, you’d expect Mondale to win 49 states.

 

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