Biden describes former VP Walter Montel as a giant in political history

MINNEAPOLIS — President Joe Biden saluted his “friend of five decades” Walter Mondale on Sunday

Mondale died in April 2021 at age 93. He is credited with transforming the office of the vice presidency — which Biden himself held for eight years under President Barack Obama

Mondale “was a giant in American political history,” Biden said of Mondale, known to friends as “Fritz.”

Biden added that Mondale was one of the “toughest, smartest men I’ve ever worked with”

Biden emphasized Mondale’s empathy, recalling his own promise during the 2020 presidential campaign to unite the country

Biden added of Mondale: “He united people sharing the light, the same hopes — even when we disagreed, he thought that was important.”

Mondale remained an important Democratic voice for decades afterward, and went on to serve as ambassador to Japan under President Bill Clinton