Over the Top, Barely

Claiming victory, Mondale tries to unify the Democrats

For weeks Walter Mondale had predicted with facetious precision that he would acquire the magic number of 1,967 delegates needed to pin down the Democratic presidential nomination at 11:59 a.m. on the day after Super Tuesday III—the final day of one of the most grueling, frenetic and unpredictable primary seasons ever. Now on election eve Mondale's campaign plane was over California, nearing the end of a 25-hour, 5,620-mile coast-to-coast blitz. The candidate had been in fine fettle, rousing partisan audiences in New Jersey, West Virginia and New...

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