|in UW-Parkside Ranger, Kenosha Wis., Nov. 1, 1984|
So I'd like to take this opportunity to honor the man by pulling up some of my old cartoons in which he was featured — with the recognition that, like most editorial cartoonists, I tend not to draw a lot of cartoons about what a swell person the object of the cartoon is.
I drew one cartoon that week about John Anderson's campaign for president, and another about the possibility of reinstating the draft (neither original of which I still have, nor any other cartoons from that semester).
|Oct., 1983; in UW-Parkside Ranger, December 15, 1983|
Drawing for another school newspaper, I took plenty of opportunities to draw Walter Mondale during his 1984 presidential campaign. I drew this one in October, 1983 when the movie "The Right Stuff" seemed tailor-made to benefit the campaign of Democratic astronaut John Glenn (although the cartoon only saw print as part of a "Berge's Year In Review" feature).
As a note of explanation for you youngsters, "Look for the Union Label" was an advertising jingle for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union in the 1980's, pleading with consumers to buy union-made clothing rather than the cheaper imports that soon put the union's members out of work. And to you oldsters, I apologize for the earworm.
|Dec., 1983; in UW-Parkside Ranger, January 19, 1984|
A lot has been made of Mondale's vow that because of Ronald Reagan's ballooning federal deficit, "Mr.
Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I
just did." He was right, of course: Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton all had to raise taxes before the budget would balance. But it wasn't something Americans wanted to hear in 1984.
More significantly, the U.S. economy was on the rebound. A decade of escalating energy prices had come to an end, double-digit inflation was in check, business was picking up as interest rates fell; and Reagan was only too happy to take credit for it all. Reagan contrasted this renewed sense of optimism with the national "malaise" proclaimed by his predecessor, which he pinned on Mondale's tail at every opportunity.
|in UW-Parkside Ranger, October 4, 1984|
|in UW-Parkside Ranger, September 13, 1984|
All things considered, it isn't fair to remember Fritz Mondale only for ending up on the bottom of the biggest electoral landslide in U.S. history, so here are just a few accomplishments from his career:
As a young senator, he co-wrote the Fair Housing Act of 1968, a pillar of federal civil rights legislation. He later engineered a 1975 bipartisan deal that ended the two-thirds rule for stopping filibusters, so that 60 senators instead of 67 could cut off debate.
Under President Jimmy Carter, he became the first vice president with a day job, as adviser to the president, not just a bystander. He called it the “executivization” of the vice presidency.
And as a Democratic presidential nominee, he chose the first female nominee for vice president from a major party.