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Mondale recalls McGovern’s observation about lopsided presidential losses

Mondale hails his Senate colleague, the WWII combat pilot turned presidential candidate.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale was a longtime friend of  the late Sen. George McGovern, who died at age 90 Sunday in Sioux Falls and will be buried there Friday.

The two were colleagues, serving as Midwestern senators, and both shared the experience of lopside losses in presidential elections, McGovern in 1972 and Mondale in 1984.

McGovern reportedly asked Mondale to run as his vice president in 1972, but Mondale declined.

In 1984, McGovern made a comeback try with another presidential bid but the Democratic nomination went to Mondale.

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In a Politico story, Mondale recalls:

“I remember when, after I lost my race for president, I went to see George. I said, ‘Tell me how long it takes to get over a defeat of this kind.’ He said, ‘I’ll call you when it happens.’ That’s the kind of guy he was, he was funny.”

Added Mondale:

“We were old friends. He was a very nice, warm, smart, positive, funny man and we kidded each other for all those years. I’m sorry he’s gone.”

A public viewing is planned Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls. The funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at Mary Sommervold Hall at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls. He’ll be buried later at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.