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The University of Minnesota Duluth
BRIDGE - Fall 2008, Volume 26, #1
Vice President Walter F. Mondale
Foreign Policy and
UMD Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin and the Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies sponsored a lecture by former U.S. Vice President Walter F. Mondale, at UMD in January 2008.
Mondale’s speech, titled “Foreign Policy Development and Presidential Candidates,” was the UMD 2008 Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Memorial Lecture.
Mondale opened with praise for UMD, “I love Duluth, and I love UMD. I never miss a chance to be here.” He recalled the reason the French explorer, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Luth, came to Minnesota in the 16th century, to try and foster peace among the warring tribes. “I have sympathy for him because I spent much of my adult life coming to Duluth to bring about the peace between warring Democratic tribes,” he said. “As I visited downtown Duluth today, I see there is still work to be done.”
The rest of his talk was more serious. He spoke with candor to a standing-room only crowd. His topics, often in the form of advice to the candidates for President, included gaining energy independence, making progress to slow global warming, and diminishing the risk of nuclear proliferation. Mondale argued that the next President needs to protect the constitutional rights of the American people, and he also called for peace between Israel and Palestine.
Mondale spent much of his talk addressing the nation’s ailing economy. “We’ve gone from a creditor nation to a huge debtor nation,” he said. “The war in Iraq is bleeding us and tying us down . . . the next president is going to have all those things on his or her desk at the same time.”
In his closing remarks, Mondale remembered his years with President Jimmy Carter in the White House. “I served as Vice President for four years,” he said. “I was the first Vice President to be in the White House, and I worked with the President every day. I was involved in all the secrets of this country, all of the foreign policy issues, and all the security issues. I traveled around the world representing our country and got an experience that changed my life."
Mondale said he was proud of his record. “We told the truth; we obeyed the law; and we kept the peace,” he said. “Maybe that is no more than what you’d expect. But I’m proud of that, and I hope the next administration will do the same.”
Mondale’s record of public service includes: Vice President of
the United States, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, U.S. Senator and Attorney
General for the State of Minnesota. He was also the Democratic Party’s
nominee for President in 1984. He is currently Senior Counsel with the
law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, headquartered in Minneapolis with
16 offices worldwide. He serves on the firm’s Asia Law Practice
Mondale complimented Martha Alworth and the Alworth family. “This idea of having a lecture series to talk about international affairs is exactly what we need,” he said. “I thank your family and your foundation for your support.”
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