Walter Mondale and Ted Mondale about politics and politicians...then and now

Programs | Midday | Topics | Politics | People | Walter Mondale | Special Collections | Minnesota Politicians | Types | Interviews | Call-In | Grants | Legacy Amendment Digitization (2018-2019) |
Listen: 100888.wav

Walter Mondale, former vice-president, and his son Ted Mondale, former state senator and gubernatorial candidate, talk about politics and politicians...then and now. Topics include leadership, trust, and necessity of genuine debate. The Mondale’s also answer listener questions.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

With news from Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Mike Mulcahy governor-elect Jesse Ventura Matt this morning with officials from the Minnesota film board. He says he would support efforts to Laura films and Commercial Productions to the state because it would boost the economy lot Ventura says he has no plans to resume is movie acting career while he's Governor. He says he's got too much to do when he can't switch his Focus hog producers from three States including Minnesota are in Sioux Falls today for a forum on how to increase the price farmers get for their pork pork prices are currently at a 40-year low some hog producers attending the event are selling fresh pork at a Sioux Falls parking lot for $0.48 a pound. Steve Perkins is head of Ellison meat company, which is owned by 80 area pork producers. First thing that was organized by these pork producers and is as kind of their way of trying to drive the point home that the price of should be lowered to meet Market one proposal introduced at The Forum is to push forNational laws governing hog prices add u.s. West to the list of companies that say they saw their year 2000 computer problem. The company says it started working on the problem in 1996 and that u.s. West has worked with other phone companies to be sure that phones work Nationwide after January first of the year two-thousand the weather for today mostly sunny, but cold the wind should die down as the day goes on the high should range from the single digits below zero to the lower teens above tomorrow. It'll be tonight. I should say it'll be really cold. Louis from 28 below zero in the far north to 6 Below in the Southeast right now. It's sunny across the region Rochester has six above st. Cloud 1 below International Falls 12 below in Duluth at 7 Below in in the Twin Cities 5 above that's news from Minnesota Public Radio. I might Mulcahy. Thank you Mike 6 minutes an hour past 12 programming an NPR is supported by Maite the Minnesota Association of professional employees, Minnesota state professionals delivering State services with excellence and pride.Minnesota good afternoon. Walk back to mid-day on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten glad you could join us. These are not the best of times to be identified with politics and public service. If you believe the polls looks like a large majority of Americans either deeply apathetic or thoroughly disgusted with politics. But some people do care about public service in politics. Today. We're going to talk with two of those people the father and the son of man who wanted to be governor and a man who wanted to be president. They've won elections and yes, they've lost elections. One of them helped found the Minnesota dfl party. The other is seen by some as a man who could revive the Minnesota dfl party. We're talking about the mondale's former vice president for Minnesota. Senator former ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale and his son former state senator in 1998 gubernatorial candidate Ted Mondale. They have come by or Studios today to Talk about politics and public service and life and want to Minnesota's first families of politics, and we should invite you to join our conversation as well put City area number is 651-227-6006 51227 6000 outside the Twin Cities 1-800. +242-282-865-1227 6000 or 1 800-242-2828. Thank you for coming in today. I guess I can just say mister Mondale Rob the program. Is it is it fair to say that the politics in the concept of public service going to fall in on on Hard Times? Kind of down in the the bottom of the barrel there with used car salesman and reporters. This is Ted Mondale. I think there's a issue overwhelming our politics today. And I think it's that there's a very strong distrust for government and policies out there stronger than the Vietnam war Civil Rights here and stronger than we've seen in a long long time. And I sense that as a state senator. I sense that as a candidate and I think it's a a backdrop to how we view the campaign. So we have today and the focus when you talk to people is really on our political leadership. Most people think that political leaders say one thing and do another or self-serving and others think that, you know, they're just wasting a lot of money. So there's a real turn off today largely focused on government that that I think has not been that strong in a long. Of time and I think if we want to revive our state or are Political party we need to deal with that. I think if you look at the elections of our soon-to-be Governor Ventura and frankly Paul wellstone as recently as 1990. I think both of them were seen as anti politicians as people you can trust and I don't think it's a coincidence that the three top political office holders in this state Ventura wellstone grams never really held political office in Racine is Outsiders and built that trust up and so I think that's a real issue that's out there. I think it's a deep-seated feeling and I think it permeates our politics as we have today. Maybe I could reminisce a little bit as I mentioned Gary when I came in. What are we going to make out of this program? Maybe I can do is talk a little bit about history today. When I got started in politics in the late 40s 50s and 60s, it was thrilling. We had our problems. It's important not to over glamorized the past but the survey show that the public respected public officers, they respected and trusted the government that they saw the government as an instrument for bettering their lives making America more just and dealing with the problems that we Face together. It was it was a thrilling time to go into politics. We saw a big agenda of things that had the change in our country had vast areas were there was official discrimination. The law said that the blacks and whites couldn't get together in Mendham. Anyways, they were separated the vote for black Americans in the South was virtually non-existent. It was a time before we had any environmental laws. There was growing concerned about our air in our water. There was no federal legislation for education for Student Assistance for pension protection for job safety for improve Social Security and many many other things that all of these great issues on which Americans wanted action had been unattended to so when we came on the scene we had plenty to do the issues were simple we thought That we had virtue on our side and we were very confident that government could do the job that if you legislated something declared something should happen it would happen so that it was a feisty confident. . For those of my generation and you know in Minnesota we cooked up a lot of the things that later became National policy with Hubert Humphrey. I'd like to think I did some and there were other people McCarthy in the list is long that that just sort of seized Minnesota and in a sense sees the nation and we were part of that thrilling. I think since that time several things have happened. I for one and we talked about this many times in this program think that big money rivers and oceans of money have drowned the public system. The public sees that and thinks that politicians are up for sale. At least if they're not sold at least they're rented and so how can you trust that system? I also think we discovered Many of these measures were past like education and others that what we were trying to do was much more difficult and challenging and the role of government more difficult to shape than we had thought it was the case at the time and then we ran into some very deep problems that helped shape and Shake confidence in my generation of leaders. The war in Vietnam was one of the worst mistakes in modern history a lot of young people were killed and maimed in it and there was Too much misleading and even false information coming out of the other national government and this this was a steady diet of heartache and cynicism That Shook public confidence in their leaders. I also think there were some other issues like Watergate were very constitutional system of our government was under threat. So we had a large dose of kind of European cynicism that took over and change the mood to tone the trust that the public has toward government DC this whole Clinton business now purging the system is just ultimately going to be good for the system or is it Driving people away in droves never to return. I don't think it's driving people in droves never to return but I think it's certainly feeds into the cynicism on one hand. You have a set of actions that are reprehensible and as a young parent, you know, a lot of us sit around and trying to figure out how we explain this to our children something. We really don't want to do on the other hand. We sit around and say hey we've been paying into social security for now 20-30 years and why isn't Congress working on the issues that matter to us today? Why are we talkin about this rather than Social Security? Why are we talkin about this rather than Health Care reform or some of those other issues. So I think what's happening in Congress today is feeding into that cynicism in feeding into that mistrust. I think we have to look in to to Minnesota though. We had the the highest turnout in the nation in the selection to just pass. I think we should be And I think the voters came through and analyze the candidates and and spoke very clearly and loudly and I think the people minutes they sent a message and I think people in Minnesota out of feel pretty good about the election that just happened rather than it is that it was some kind of freak accident. I think of it made a lot of sense is your dfl party. I wouldn't say that but I think they need some soul-searching to do like the most of the people that voted in the last election. The majority were Democrats. Most of them were modern and most of them lived in the suburbs. I think most of the people today are open to the role of the democratic party, but the Democratic party has to have a different View Vision of the role of government. We we have to be more enabling and empowering rather than trying to determine people's outcomes. I think we have to be more willing to hold. Government accountable and look to deliver services and better ways and I think you're dealing with a different economic time just as when the dfl was created and before it was created in Humphreys time. It was largely dismissed, and it was created a created a new Coalition and it started the government delivered services for people in a way that improve their lives today. People are looking for a different role in government more of an enabling government. They want better schools. They know they may have nine or ten employers during their lifetime. They want lifetime job training, so I wouldn't confuse the last elections Republicans are saying, you know, they say they heard our message and we actually won that election. I think they're very very wrong on that. And I think that people want a role of government. They want a different role of government, and I think it's up to the major parties to understand what's happening and lead and deliver for people again tonight. I think the perhaps once again, the people are ahead of the parties and we'll see you. Party is able to deliver and have the wind at their sales like Vice President Humphrey in my father's another had one that when they had their time. I think the opportunity is absolutely their greatest come in a minute on your question. I think it's one of the tragedies of the last few years that Clinton who is about who I believe may be the A+ public leader I've ever seen and I include Humphrey and and all of those that I knew over the last 50 years in that list. I've never seen a man a blur person. I've never seen a better personal politician than he is. I've never seen a public leader with a better ear pick up what's going on and how to handle it. And of course that's and I've never seen a person with more energy and drive then President Clinton when he came to Japan when I was in Bastyr for The Summit in 96, I've seen Statesman Opera. I have never seen A person operate with his skill and sensitivity. He wild Japan and I've heard reports like that from other countries and yet the tragedy is that with all of these gifts that God has given him and he's use so well in which the public has responded to his pulls her what 70% or so most of us would kill to get anywhere near that there is this other side to him living on the edge and the Scandal and personal personally offensive Behavior, which has shaken of the Public's confidence in Clinton the person what a tragedy is that to someone who has these enormous skills in the spirit and all these things that the public has responded to has so shaken their sense of respect for him as a person. I don't know how this works out politically, but as someone who's known and liked Clinton for 30 years. I find it very very sad or talking the shower with the mondale's Walter Mondale Ted Mondale. They have come by today, too, but we're not entirely sure what were we don't know what we're doing get their perceptions of politics Public Service in the resta and love to have you join our conversation 651-227-6020 area number. 651-227-6002 Twin Cities. 1-800. +242-282-865-1227 6001 800-242-2828 Peters on the line from Plymouth. Gentlemen, good morning, or good afternoon to speak with your part of the opinion. Delete. My question is from Joe Blow citizen standpoint. I see you skip Humphrey for example, and I'm sure he's a very wonderful man, but talking about his great dedication to the public service and yet he's working at a job all this time and earning a good wage and a good salary and it takes two months or more off to go out and campaign from our office and I can't wait a minute. I can't do that with my job is this what public service is all about? Perhaps the public servant has a different idea what Public Service means then? Mr. Joblo says that I regard public service is kind of a volunteer activities, and I'm going to hang up. Well, I've heard this for the last campaign and I've heard it again in this question. And you know, I used to run for re-election as a senator when I was and the one criticises in those days if you take the position that no incumbent. Can ever run for office again. That's kind of like an informal one term limit. It would have meant that Hubert Humphrey. Probably the ablest of all Minnesota public servants could live run for Senator it from this position. Is Mayor couldn't have run for president as you did couldn't have a night at seems to me that one of the things that public servants do is not simply conduct the office at there in but also become involved in a very meaningful way in the great debate and issues of our time in a sense that's part of their responsibilities and I you know, I think that as they do so and I tried to do that certain that you need to be sure that you're handling the job to put you been elected carefully, but I think it would truncate and paralyzed much of the best in the American public dialogue and local pub. Dialogue if people that were in office couldn't run for another office while they were in the one to which they had first been elected. I think my father is right that you can't have a rule. However, the time constraints and physical time that you need to spend on a Statewide election. Almost put you as a full-time person running for office. And so there's kind of a a line there and I think those in office have an advantage. I mean some of us would have to go to work sometimes and travel for work and Miss events, you know, I I left my office thinking that I couldn't perform the duties. I didn't run again thinking that if I ran I couldn't perform the duties to be able to do that. And so I think that there's there's a real question there and I think there's a real question not so much for the candidate or office-holder themselves, but what are their staff doing? When they hold for press conferences a week and their state or city paid for staff of pushing the media today and that's one difference in politics from today to the end where much more dependent on media rather than sort of Grassroots organizing I think and that's why I think it's something that needs to be looked at. I'm not sure there's an answer to it. But I'll tell you as one who ran from the private side and adventure and I talked about this a lot of the advantages of going to events and seeing the state paid staff handling all this clearly political stuff. There are some questions where we disagree implicit I think in his question has to do with the intersection of public service and politics and something I think that that comes up from toy. What time is the complaint that policies are are decided upon votes are taken not on the basis of sometimes of what would be good public policy. But what's good politics what's good for the party? So you end up for example on this impeachment business? Well, you know all the Democrats are opposed. All the Republicans are in favor and I suppose it's cool. It's could be coincidental that it falls breaks down that way but probably not does politics 10 to a partisan concern 10 to enter intrude too much in the making of public policy, or do we need more partisan consideration? Well, I think one of the things people are upset about is the level of partisanship that that that we have today. When I was in the Senate I would be concerned sometime. We focus more on the negatives of quote the Republican position than what our position is the the dfl was and I will always believe that that I think this has special bearing to the Democratic party is the Democratic party. Unlike the Republican party is saying yes government can play a positive role in your life. So I think we have a higher Duty and standing than the Republican Party does and saying these expenditures of these regulations are these changes will make your life better, you know, average Minnesota citizen citizen, whatever whatever the point is. So I think that the Democrats have a higher standard to follow and I think if the Democrats sit back and have these elections and say Newt Gingrich is a bad guy or Bob Livingston look at him or you know, The Republicans are just for the wealthy in the aren't they bad? You know, we're missing the opportunity to say what we're all about in that is if we do these things if we improve public education if we make investments to give you no kids computers if we decide to pay for prescription drugs for low income senior citizens, this is how their life is going to be better and I think when the Democrats get off the off what they are through messages and get into the mud with the Republicans, I think we lose cuz in the end in the end of this distrust of government continues and if these elections are about, you know, a lousy government with officials that you can't trust anymore that cost more rather than the Republicans lousy government the cost less. Well the consumer or the voter if you will is going to pick the Republican model every every time and I think a lot of us behind some of the Republicans are so let's just make it so terrible and so nasty and Break Down The Walls that they'll never think of voting for Democrat again, I think the Democrats How to not get caught in that we need to book we need to stand up if if there's a criticism the last campaign I would have is a lot of times we didn't stand up for what we believed in and we allow people to say things and we didn't reply. We didn't you know put a foot forward and say hey this you know higher education helps people or you know, we need to fight for child care for these young single moms trying to get off welfare or what about you know, what got eight 75,000 senior citizens who make less than $8,000 a year who are consuming all of their income almost all of their income on prescription drugs and yet they have no coverage. This is where government should step in and we need to be for something and and not be so focused on how bad the Republicans are on I think the voters are smart enough to figure that out. And I think there's nothing that the Democrats need to do other than to get back to figure out what really 4 to deliver government. Yes in a different way but to stand up for how we can help people in their life and if we're able to do that as Democrats were going to do well, let me say one thing. The critical test for the dfl party the first big election. They're holding a convention in Hennepin County for outgoing dfl party chair and commissioner Andrews seat and a schedule on the day of the Vikings playoff game and we'll see if they reschedule that but I think if they if they have that convention on Sunday afternoon while the Vikings are playing the Packers and don't recognize that's a problem. I think that's an indication that might not be getting the message. Walter Mondale of partisanship public policy Look, there's cheap politics stupid politics selfish politics corrupt politics always has been and always will be and the Public's job is to see through it. And correct it at the next election. there there's no way of putting a system in place that guarantees that you that you will never elect people that are partisan to the point of hurting the Public's interest, but there are a lot of people in public life, who are Good people there intelligent. They're spending their time and their lives. Trying to help Society deal with its problems. And they're full of decency and patriotism and concern for others. And the job of the folder is to find those that fit that hire definition. The other thing that I'd like to say is that Partisanship by itself shallow kind of high school football ideas. It's your team in my team. I'm on my team here on your Den that dominates everything. I think that that cheapens and undermines effective Public Service many of the things that we accomplished during my time in the Senate and so on we accomplished when we were able to get leaders on both sides of the aisle Democrats Republicans working together, for example of civil rights. We wouldn't have gotten those laws unless they were ten or fifteen Republicans that helped us. I need to case but having said all that debate about issues The differences that divide the political parties are often very real. They're not. necessarily just shallow people with partisan instincts cheapening the public dialogue A an America in which its assumed? That it's just a difference between good people always come up with the same and the right decision and those on the other hand who are partisan and just yep, like dogs is not would really be a dangerous idea because the greatest public leaders we've had over the years are people that have tended to belong to one of the political parties, hopefully Broad and deep and vision capable of seeing we're partisanship is inappropriate, but nevertheless speak to it was clearly about the issues that divide us over questions were there isn't a simple answer where there's different philosophy underpinning how one looks at a problem. And the one thing that the public process ought to do for the public is to get that stuff out in the open debate it responsibly fully in. Genetically so the public can hear it and decide that's how the public process works. So the vision of an America which is sort of a quiet library for people sit and come up with the right answer and devoid of partisanship or debate. I think is an idea that has never worked will never work and will hurt our democracy. The mondale's are with us today on midday Walter Mondale Ted Mondale. They come by to talk about politics Public Service in the like lots of callers on the line. Let's get to our next one from Rancho Dan. Yeah, good afternoon. I am honored to be on the phone with these people. I think that you really had an impact on Minnesota politics and I'll be short. I feel that you underestimate the impact of organized ignorant. I think that we have some big money going into a different media's and and different sound bites to control a lot of people that are very naive and they don't know too much about what's going on with the political system so that we have a seems like sex skating in the end focusing on issues that are not really important. And then if you did you find out that to the tobacco industry and indifferent negative powerful forces have been pushing issues like this to to Target politicians that are hurting their their their money flowing and in the money flow. I think it's an issue with politics in Minnesota and in the States because you need money to get elected in and you both said that you feel that the public has of perception that money. Controls politicians. I know I've been involved with politics and I feel that money controls politicians and in Minnesota in the you-know-what in the on the federal level and end don't you believe that if you have money you have more access to politicians and you have more of a control Factor over the politicians in America in and I think that's a problem in getting elected as it seems like when people get to Washington, even though there be another pure when they go there they change once they're there or when people get into state government dates. There's a transformation and they all said they want to get reelected in the whole focus is to get reelected. Let me take a crack at that dad if you will and I hope you can talk about the campaign Finance reform were. Dinner we were talking about what I should cook for you for dinner. I thought maybe I could make a suggestion coming to the question was the or maybe the statement was it that everybody gets in the politics and it's all about money and there's no doubt that that there's money in politics and probably too much. But if you look at the last election, the guy that spent the least money that I had no organization and had no quotes off money and the least amount of Television ads one with the highest amount of voter turnout in the nation. So it's hard to say that they're really something acutely wrong with the voters and they didn't sense it fact. We have the toughest campaign Finance reform laws in the nation here and all the can of except for one in the primary abided by those laws. So I think if you look at Minnesota worst state to look at that is dealing with the issue struggling with the issue and if you look at the out Some of that election I think it would prove that thesis wrong. Not only did Jesse Ventura spend last but he was I mean at least the theory is that he got a lot of bullets because he spent last because he wasn't bought and sold and so on so forth is that now going to become a model for Minnesota politician. So I think there was two overriding issues in this election first. I talked about earlier the trust in government issue and I think Jesse or the governor-elect his what's considered as someone who was from the outside who would tell the truth who wasn't pre-packaged into slogan, you saw the other candidates and it look like they got into a room and somebody was controlling them like a marionette. I think I think the second issue is I think there is a new consensus in this state and in this nation as to was I talked about role of government that you you know, you need to be a little more self-sufficient before you go to government services that needs to be more empowering that you need to focus on education. And at the same time that there is a real role for government. They don't want government into the kind of right-wing social stuff. They they see a role for government and curving Indiana handguns. They see a role for government. They don't see a role for government and say outlawing all abortions that type of issues and I think that that hears this guy is obviously skilled communicator, but he walked right in I think what he was saying fit where most people were at least from a values perspective and with the least amount of money he won and so I would say that just the opposite from what the caller said, I would say that it proves that democracy does work. We'll see how he governs once he gets in but I think the election made a total amount of success sure to wish campaign Finance business or first of all, This is a word about his comment about ignorance. There are voters. There are public servants who don't know as much as they should that's a given. But I spent several decades in public life and I ended my career more respectful about the wisdom of the public than when I started and I think Ted's point about this election helps underscore that the public has has amazed me many times and its ability to see through stuff cut through all this chaff way through the thousands of ads of compiling through their television sets and somehow come up with a wise decision in this last election. There was a bitter fight control over to control the US House and the one thing that the Republicans have always done much much better than we have is raise money. And they had hundreds of millions of dollars that they poured into those Congressional elections because they wanted to get stronger control of the house. This was going to be there big yield year because this normally historically a present loses 20 to 25 seats and is 60 year and they were going to have it all and they spent I think four or five times more than the Democrats but what happened the outcome defied historical precedent, the Democrats actually picked up votes and there were many districts for the amount of money spent on the loser was three or four times that spent on the winter. My point is sounds partisan. I guess it is, but my point is that money doesn't always by elections having said that I think the role of money in American politics isn't enormous rotten Scandal and we need camp Finance reform Minnesota's got the most I take Advanced campaign-finance system in the country. So the rest of the nation can look at us but the national federal system stinks and it's got to be reformed news media. Should we be prying into the private lives of people in public life? Yeah, I think so. I think you have a duty to find out who people aren't what they do within a particular role. I mean, that's your job. I think that you know what that particular parameters. I thought the I think if somebody wants to leave the state or hold public office that they need to be held too much higher standard than somebody in the in the private sector and I think the role of the media is to help people judge these folks and if you have I think hearsay and this that and the other is a problem, but I think that if you want to run for public office and you're so you know how you're involved in some kind of Scandal be a personal or professional. I think that's something people need to know before they vote in a few. Don't like that. You probably shouldn't run doesn't have to eliminate pretty much everybody though. I mean, there aren't many people who have a lot of a saintly life. Well, there's two of us three three, including our commentator here today to do anybody who runs in the future. I'm going to I'm going to tell them to put all their scandals on a website and say here here they are. I think most of the people have gotten in trouble spend their cover-up of something that they've done I think and you know Clinton was reelected in 96 by a very large margin and I think people out of propensity to think that he may have had some some issues in his life. So I think it's something that's always going to be around nobody's perfect. But I think the job of the media is to find out, you know, a notary in the real way how they are to hide. To know something about somebody that you can prove and not report it. I think really questions the freedom in the role of the press. I agree with the massive growth of trash journalism. You know, when I first got started in politics you had established newspapers, you had the beginning of Television you had radio and so on and while things could you campaigns could get raunchy since that time. There's this been this proliferation of alternative news sources partly a strength of the system. I say cuz you can't hide things on the other hand. It allows people on the internet and so on to put all kinds of junk on the on the airwaves that used to Not get printed that many times outrageous false so on but that's a problem for your business not mine. Cuz obviously we need a free diggers news industry. It serves as well people's runs for office who they are there background seems to me. It's a legitimate question for the public to would we have been a better country to know that FDR was messing around. What that have helped? Well, you know, there's there's there's the question it. It's not that it's it's it's not that he wasn't a good present. He's won America's greatest. I think they'd all say that but I don't admire him for what he did to town and maybe the public should know that they could handle it after with time. We get to learn more and more about other great Americans that had other Affairs. Someone said the other day that we are in Peach Thomas Jefferson, but the fact of it is that is information that the public should not be denied the publication have a right to hear about that. John Muir Common Pleas good afternoon in things. I'm supposed to put her Venture up and I can tell you why it isn't because I trust him because in all honesty. I don't trust anybody who can affect my life respecting. I respect you gentlemen, but that doesn't mean I give my trust as an American, I believe it's very important that we not just trust people in authority to wear uniform because you know them. And I believe we should be cranky Americans. Are you have more photos not in a sense of just disrespecting an individual's but if it's ready to to change your life or to affected in some way and some material manner, I don't think I should be getting it. I think it should always be withheld and I believe you have some politicians who would probably win elections if it came out said I don't want you to trust me. I want you to be always suspicious of things that affect your life. You shouldn't look at me with absolute trust. I'm not here for that. I think the public is as cynical as it's been in a long long time. And I I think there's good reason for that. I think we're in a time of tremendous economic change. We got you know, we're not going back to a time of stable markets and in the kind of stable jobs and stable incomes of families had before and people want to change and they want some help but I think at the same time we need to respect our institutions and see how well they've done for a country in our state and I think it's up to our institutions to sense the cynicism in in in change a little bit in and deliver for people in a different way, but I don't think it's necessarily a good thing that our people are are cynical all the time, but I think it's what democracy is all about. I believe I might agree with the listener depending on how we Define the words he's using Of course, we should be skeptical questioning public officers and anybody else we deal with who has something to say about our lives and I think we will be but distrust me says something else. It says that we believe that this person is operating out of corrupt or cynical or base self-serving motives and therefore is a bad person and somehow is in a position to unfairly and adversely affect my life. That's what I mean by distrust Lincoln once said something I believe very strongly and he said with public trust everything is possible without it. Nothing is possible. I don't think you can run the nation on an unlimited diet of cynicism. And public disappointment in the basic integrity and decency of its public officers. There's got to be a conjunction between some basic hope and trust and faith in people in public life and the American people without it. I think it's very dangerous. What do I hear your father or your son criticized by people by the media held up for ridicule called all kinds of nasty names. I got you snowed pretty early on in life. That's a different. It's a different lifestyle. I mean, I think people always said what was it like growing up is Walter Mondale Sun during all this time. It's a low compared to what the one thing that the one thing that Add two things I'd say that the one thing is is there's a lot of political families and Washington in those times. We were never forced its Fizz children to have to behave in a particular Wayne Wade course we never did and you never know you never did but I think also in and knowing a lot of these families there was never us a sense that there was a scandal you just heard my father talked about public trust. I think he exemplified himself as a type of person we want and public service. He was always honesty always tell the truth and there was really never a sense of Scandal and I think it's that kind of Public Service of what the public wants. I think they're getting more of it than they sense. They are I think it's a tough time. I think it's a very difficult time to be in public service. I think it's probably the most important time to be in public service cuz as we're changing things we're deciding now in elections and legislative sessions. What's going to be the social compact in the future. Not at all clear and I would I would ask those that may be listening that maybe thinking that every everything in politics as bad. This is exactly the time where I think individuals on it get more involved in any in politics and and service in government get on the Planning Commission in your local city or School Board to him and I'll be a ward leader or something like that. I think this is a time when you need to be involved. We need more good people involved and we need more Direction and so I would but only Saints need apply know I think that I think everyone should be involved. I think if you want to leave the state or or go go to the US Senate, I think you you hold yourself out to higher standard of conduct than if you were in a city council member on the Planning Commission and I think people need to recognize that I I want the leaders of the state to be someone that I can talk to my kids about and use them as examples to grow up orchids. I think there's a real problem right now in the Anything for getting out of the mainstream media and a lot of times with the behavior of politicians that filter down to our kids and what are the role models for kids these days and I think that it would be helpful. If some of the more you know, many of them were government leaders. I think that's less newsworthy and I think there's some burden on behalf of the media to do more work of undercovering if you will public servants that have done a good job and are continuing to do good job in our career service and we just had to be an old guy like Jean Mary on the spent 20 years in the Senate and kept us financially solvent through all those years. There's a couple articles with him leaving but I don't think he would deserve, you know, got the kind of Fan Fair that he showed up for the 20, you know, really a lifetime of work and your Prime sitting up in the capital all day and all night in a half a year every year and in getting us that kind of work done. So I think there's there's some work there to be done. Walter Mondale at what did you what is your reaction? I just finished my last strength of public service is our ambassador to Japan and couple things struck me. But what struck me hardest and I talked about whenever I can is the quality of American Career public servants who represents the most career politician gets what they deserve. They're bright. They're spending their lives serving this country and they've mastered a difficult language in a difficult culture. They work long hours in Japan, you know where it opposite side of the world. So they were up either end of the day talking to Washington the rest are military leaders their officers and the rest of the military personnel and in Japan by and large performed magnificently. I wish that the public could have the experience. I had to see the really Superb quality of Americans who represent us in these difficult positions. I I think I think that it's a lot better. Then many believed to be the case. What did you think as a father when you heard that your son criticized during the gubernatorial campaign that body at all as a father as opposed to what I course agreed with all of them, but you know, if you're going to go into politics you have to be able to take it and I think Ted learned that talk about growing up in our family and it's the way democracy works. Seem like a lot of politicians are pretty thin skin though. I think it's if you're a thin skin person. This is bad business it again. Let me tell you the I think Duane Benson who was over at the Senate minority leader said it best. He said, you know being in the legislature's kind of like being a pro wrestler you drive over the capitol you sit on the floor of the Senate to hit each other over the head with chairs and you get in the car in your drive back home and we got to agree to disagree. I think we need to keep the debate civil. We need to keep it on issues. But I think if you see a politician trying to get everybody that disagrees with them, you're going to see a politician that soon is going to make mistakes and be taken out office now. Should we should we expect the third generation of mondale's Auto to be involved Minnesota politics. Are you folks recommending that kind of pushing and shoving if everyone to please take out their pencil and write down the name of Louis Mondale that he's a real. He's eight years old and he's already showing signs of becoming an Olympic hockey player one probably falls down a lot. But it once she gets over that the rest of this clears clear sailing. So a little Olympic hockey to build up the resume and then he's ready to go off on fortunately. We're out of time here, but that really appreciate your your stopping by and thanks so much for sticking your neck out and running and serving all this Thanksgiving the other happy holidays are guess this hour Walter and Ted Mondale course Walter Mondale former vice president United States former Minnesota. Senator, former Ambassador US ambassador to Japan Ted Mondale former state senator, 1998 gubernatorial candidate to widely thought of as a leading candidate for office in the future. The mondale's coming by today to talk about politics and public service one of our lease focused programs, but one of our better program, so I think if you missed the part of the conversation today, we're going to be rebroadcast in his program at 9 tonight. So I get a second chance to hear from Waldron Ted Mondale on politics and public service rebroadcast at 9 tonight here on Minnesota Public Radio now tomorrow Tomorrow I first bought at 11 Chris Farrell's going to join us Minnesota public radio's business and economics editor and we will be looking back at this past year or another tumultuous year in terms of economic developments. Of course, there was a quite a quite a concern. Well, that's a big reception basically in Asia and quite a concerned about how that was going to affect America as we come to the end of the year of the market is booming once again, and so we'll find out whether all those fears were ungrounded look at the 1999. That's at 11. I think I'd known then we're going to hear from John Glenn who Carson made history this year going back into space 77 years old, I believe I think that's what we're going to do at noon tomorrow. Then on Thursday last day of the year, we're going to have a kind of a year in review will take a look at some of the big Stories the tornado the farm crisis in the rest of the leaven over the noon hour. We're going to look at the year and politics here in the state of Minnesota. The Ventura victory would shock the world and it will take a look at to the full year of politics and political developments are in Minnesota that's on Thursday and balance of power in the Minnesota Legislature has shifted to the suburbs. I'm going to Benson and on the next All Things Considered will look at what that means for transportation funding its all things considered weekdays at 3 on Minnesota Public Radio Kano W FM 91.1 You're listening to Minnesota Public Radio. We have a sunny Sky. It's 5° above the windchill a comfortable 26 below at KRW FM 91.1 Minneapolis. And st. Paul Windsor are supposed to die off a little bit later this afternoon. So I won't feel quite so cold clear tonight with an overnight low about 10 degrees below sunny tomorrow with a high round 10 above.


Digitization made possible by the State of Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, approved by voters in 2008.

This Story Appears in the Following Collections

Views and opinions expressed in the content do not represent the opinions of APMG. APMG is not responsible for objectionable content and language represented on the site. Please use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report a piece of content. Thank you.

Transcriptions provided are machine generated, and while APMG makes the best effort for accuracy, mistakes will happen. Please excuse these errors and use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report an error. Thank you.

< path d="M23.5-64c0 0.1 0 0.1 0 0.2 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.3-0.1 0.4 -0.2 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.3 0 0 0 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.1 0 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.2 0 0.4-0.1 0.5-0.1 0.2 0 0.4 0 0.6-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.1-0.3 0.3-0.5 0.1-0.1 0.3 0 0.4-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.3-0.3 0.4-0.5 0-0.1 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1-0.3 0-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.2 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.3 0-0.2 0-0.4-0.1-0.5 -0.4-0.7-1.2-0.9-2-0.8 -0.2 0-0.3 0.1-0.4 0.2 -0.2 0.1-0.1 0.2-0.3 0.2 -0.1 0-0.2 0.1-0.2 0.2C23.5-64 23.5-64.1 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64"/>