Gone Fishing

The photographic evidence is unequivocal: his smile was different, the way he held his body was different. Walter Mondale was finally relaxing. Back in the north woods of his native Minnesota for a glorious week, he had no swarm of reporters around him constantly nagging, plenty of home-cooked meals (steaks, barbecued chicken, fresh fish), and time with the whole family in a rustic cabin on Gunflint Lake.

Not that Mondale was a sluggard. Most mornings by 8, he was out on the lake in a 16-ft. aluminum fishing boat, casting and reeling, casting and reeling. He landed dozens of trout and one...

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