The Nation: Privy to All the Facts and Options'

In an interview with TIME Correspondent Bonnie Angela shortly before his departure last week on his latest diplomatic mission, Vice President Walter Mondale reflected on the duties, rewards and hazards of his often disparaged office. Excerpts:

ON HAVING ENOUGH TO DO. Arthur Schlesinger [the historian] wrote me a letter congratulating me on the election, but he also said, "I send you my prayers. It is the most incurably frustrating office ever conceived by man." I wrote him and thanked him but—knock on wood—at this point it has been entirely different from the traditional experience.

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