When Democratic Presidential nominee Jimmy Carter considered a running mate in the summer of 1976, he composed a list of U.S. senators whom he believed would provide him with the Capitol know-how to balance the ticket.
They included Ed Muskie, John Glenn, Frank Church, Adlai Stevenson, Henry Jackson – and eventual choice Walter Mondale.
But in his book, Man of the House, the late U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill describes calling Carter personally to recommend a running mate from the U.S. House of Representatives.
O’Neill suggeted Morris Udall and Newark’s own Pete Rodino.
“But I certainly wasn’t disappointed when he chose Mondale, an outstanding liberal in the Humphrey tradition” wrote O’Neill. “I wasn’t surprised, either.Ever since my first meeting with Carter, when he told me that the only Democrat who could beat him was Mondale, I expected Mondale would be his choice. Later, I was pleased to see that Carter gave Fritz an office in the White House, and involved him deeply in legislative affairs. But not even Mondale could help Carter with the political savvy he would need.”