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Mondale Steps Back Into Public Eye; Speakes Pokes Fun

February 3, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Walter Mondale, who withdrew from public view after his election loss to President Reagan, has emerged long enough to poke fun at his campaign and to hear some jokes about it from the president’s spokesman.

″All my life, I wanted to run for president in the worst possible way - and I did,″ Mondale said.

Mondale spoke Saturday night as the National Press Club inaugurated reporter David Hess of Knight-Ridder newspapers as its president. Mondale was invited to administer the oath of office.

Mondale was subjected to a few rapid-fire one-liners from White House Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speakes, who noted the Minnesota Democrat and former vice president has been out of the public eye of late.

″He’s been working on his campaign memoir,″ Speakes said. ″It’s entitled ’Trivial Pursuit.‴

He said Mondale blamed his presidential defeat on the age issue. ″Hardly anyone over 18 voted for him,″ Speakes added.

Speakes said his gibes at Mondale were ″leftovers″ from the Reagan re- election campaign, but he didn’t restrict himself to poking fun at the losing candidate.

Turning his attention to his boss, Speakes said Reagan is getting concerned about his place in history.

″He’s certain he’ll be remembered by a plaque in the Cabinet room that says, ’Ronald Reagan Slept Here.‴

Speakes also mentioned Vice President George Bush.

″I know President Reagan relies on his vice president,″ Speakes said. ″Just the other day he asked George Bush to take his nap for him.″

Speakes noted Bush attends many funerals representing the United States. ″The vice president’s motto is: ’You die, we fly,‴ Speakes said.

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