On this date in 1984, I was on the floor of the Moscone Center in my hometown of San Francisco when Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale asked convention delegates to approve his choice of a running mate -- a little-known congresswoman from Queens.
"I know what it takes to be a good vice president -- I was once one myself," said Mondale, in a rare bout of immodesty. "I looked for the best vice president, and I found her in Geri Ferraro."
New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro was not the most qualified female running mate Mondale could have chosen: That distinction probably belonged to Rep. Patricia Schroeder, the Colorado Democrat who had been instrumental in forcing party elders to expand the demographic waters of their normal pool of candidates. Yet, Schroeder was on the convention floor that night, too, cheering along with the rest of the delegates and party luminaries.
"America is not just for some of us," Mondale said. "Our Founders said in the Constitution: ‘We the People.' Not just the rich, or men, or white, but all of us. Our message is that America is for everyone who works hard and contributes to our blessed country."
It took another 36 years, but Pat Schroeder's vision -- and Fritz Mondale's promise -- came to pass in the person of Kamala Harris. Anniversaries such as this one serve as reminders to take a step back from the daily details of politics (and our partisan differences) and look at the big picture. Irrespective of your political leanings, Vice President Harris not only fulfills Walter Mondale's promise to his political party, but the promise of America's founding. Yes, it took a long time to get here, but it's something to celebrate -- notwithstanding the noisy posturing by malcontents on the ideological fringes of the political spectrum.
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.