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    Anecdotal Observations On History & Politics

    Entries in Walter Mondale (3)


    Geraldine Ferraro as "Liberty Leading the People"

    Long before John Kerry was criticized for "looking French" the Mondale Ferraro campaign had a unique and most bizarre take on Eugène Delacroix's emblematic painting Liberty Leading the People -- a poster with Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro in the place of Lady Liberty (and her badly illustrated running mate to the left):

    Luckily the artist remembered to sub in an American flag and kindly covered up Ms. Ferraro, unlike the scantily clad figure in the original:



    "Not Nice": Geraldine Ferraro Speaks About Her 1984 VP Debate Against George H.W. Bush

    Geraldine Ferraro passed away on Saturday March 26th, 2011. She was the first woman ever on a major party ticket and was known for speaking her mind and being unapologetic. While her selection was expected to breath new life into Walter Mondale's 1984 Presidential campaign, Mondale & Ferraro lost 49 states to incumbent Ronald Reagan. 

    One of her most famous moments of the '84 campaign was her October 11th debate against then-VP George Herbert Walker Bush. When Bush appeared to be lecturing her on foreign policy, she called him out for speaking down to her, accusing him of having a patronizing attitude. I had the pleasure of sitting down with her in the spring of 2007, and she spoke about what happened -- she also points out that Bush even bragged about "kicking ass" after the debate, take a look below:


    The Biggest Loser, Electorally Speaking...

    If you look back at the last 110 years of Presidential elections, many point to Ronald Reagan's overwhelming defeat of Walter Mondale in 1984 as the biggest landslide of all time. Indeed, Mondale did take a shellacking, winning only one state (his own) with the District of Columbia (basically a Democratic consolation prize) receiving a mere 13 electoral votes to Reagan's 525. 

    With only 2.4% of the electoral vote, Mondale's electoral count sets the pretty bar low. However, he can rest assured that he was not the biggest loser in a modern Presidential election, electorally speaking. That unique title goes to the long forgotten Republican candidate of 1936, Alf Landon.

    Alf Landon was the governor of Kansas when he was nominated to run a fools errand campaign against the ever-popular Franklin Roosevelt in 1936. The reason for his nomination? He was the only Republican governor to have been re-elected in the midterms of 1934, which an overwhelming Democratic year. Unfortunately for the Kansas Governor, the underwhelming campaign was doomed from the start, even the leadership of his own party even referred to him as "the poor man's Coolidge".

    In the end, Landon did win 2 states, Maine and Vermont, which was one state more than Mondale. But the electoral vote count only added to 8 (to FDR's 523), which is 4 less than Mondale, a mere 1.5% of the electoral vote total compared to Mondale’s 2.4%. Each calculated against its respective total electoral vote count.