Mondale meets lawmakers at Humphrey School, shares advice - KMSP-TV

Mondale meets lawmakers at Humphrey School, shares advice

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The second day of the new legislative session was spent away from the state Capitol as lawmakers met some familiar political faces to get some advice on how to work together.

"My experience -- when I was in the U.S. Senate for many, many years -- is that most things, in the end, require compromise," Walter Mondale told FOX 9 News.

Mondale drove a career of legislative success all the way to the vice presidency, and his message for the new Minnesota Legislature is simple.

"While you need to debate, you need to feel strongly about things, that's all part it -- finally, in the end you have to sit down often and make some adjustments so that you can get it adopted and so that it feels like something Minnesotans want," he said.

Mondale met with lawmakers in a closed-door session at the Humphrey School to share a message of compromise and cooperation alongside former Republican Congressman Gil Gutknecht.

"I think the real issue is that we have made politics too personal," Gutknecht explained. "There really needs to be an esprit de corps among members of the Legislature and Congress so that they go back to the old notion that it's possible to disagree without being disagreeable."

Those are powerful lessons for a Legislature where 62 members are incoming freshmen, and Rep. Zach Dorholt, of St. Cloud, told FOX 9 News he thinks it's a welcome one.

"If you didn't know that Gutknecht was a Republican and Mondale was a Democrat, you couldn't tell in there," Dorholt said. "That … is refreshing. To be able to watch those conversations -- it would be great of more debates where conversations like that."

Indeed, those are the sort of conversations that Mondale believes can break down walls and lead to action.

"I'm told by a lot of people who ran this year that every place they went -- door-to-door and so on, that the public was saying, 'Look, get along. Get things done. Try to avoid paralysis,'" Mondale said. "I think he public was saying, 'We want something done here.'"

Mondale emphasized that part of the responsibility of leading a caucus is to seek common ground, even among members of the opposite party.

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