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Former Vice President Walter Mondale and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar chat Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, as Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is sworn in during inauguration ceremonies in St. Paul's Landmark Center. It was Mondale's 87th birthday. Scott Takushi / St. Paul Pioneer Press

Mondale backs a Klobuchar bid: Former VP likes senator’s chances in presidential race

ST. PAUL — Former Vice President Walter Mondale thinks U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar not only will run for president but that she will be a much better candidate than he was when he lost his race for the White House.

Mondale was the Democratic nominee for president in 1984 when he lost in a landslide to Republican incumbent Ronald Reagan. He carried only his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia.

“She has got a much better chance of having a better result,” he said of Klobuchar in an interview Wednesday, Feb. 6, as speculation mounted that Minnesota’s Democratic senior senator will announce her candidacy Sunday in Minneapolis. Klobuchar hasn’t revealed her intentions, but just about everybody else thinks she’ll run.

Including Mondale. “I think we’ll get a positive result on Sunday,” he said.

“She’s going to make a good run. I’m going to be with her all the way.”

Why? “I think she’s the best,” he said.

Advice for a former intern

Mondale has known Klobuchar since he was a U.S. senator and she interned for him while attending Yale University.

What advice would he give candidate Klobuchar? “Rearrange your schedule,” he said. Focus razor-sharp on her campaign.

“It helps to be insane when you run for president,” Mondale quipped. “It’s such an all-encompassing, mad rush.”

She’ll have to spend all her time raising money and crossing the country to meet people who want to get to know her.

“She’s so steady. I think she’ll handle this just fine,” he said.

Know what voters want

Mondale thinks Klobuchar needs to give voters a “broader, philosophical view” of what she wants to do as president. “She knows that,” he said.

He believes her likable temperament is a big plus. “I think the attitude she has about public life will be very sustainable in the race,” he said, “and I think that’s what we need in the White House.

“We need people who are sensitive and reasonable, progressive, pleasant and kind. That’s what she is.”

Mondale won’t attend Klobuchar’s announcement on Sunday, but she knows she’s got Minnesota’s most famous living Democrat solidly in her corner.

If you go

When: Sunday. Opens to the public at 1 p.m., announcement at 1:30 p.m.

Where: Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley St. N.E., Minneapolis -- It wasn’t entirely clear if an RSVP is required for the general public, but suggests that filling out an RSVP is a smart way to stay up to date if anything changes.

How do I get there: Boom Island Park is on the East Bank of the Mississippi River just upstream (north) of Nicollet Island.