As historic and as beneficial as was Mondale's role in elevating the vice presidency, that accomplishment was an application of Mondale's leadership, beliefs and skill, and a vehicle for Mondale to advance some of his values, not the measure of the man or his "Living Legacy" as many headlines implied.
I can see Biden's point about solving the nation's problems: If you're working toward solutions, why call an advocate of a policy you oppose your "enemy," when "my good friend across the aisle" will do? My reservation is that speaking well of the other party can drain genuinely moral disputes of authentic moral authority.
A year ago, few Americans would have predicted that Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, would be leading a formidable insurrectionist challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Presidential Primary, or that real estate magnate Donald Trump would be leading in the polls in the Republican Primary.
Scott Walker is one of a very small number of Presidential candidates to have been catapulted into the national spotlight by a single galvanizing issue or event. Walker's challenge to public sector unions struck a nerve with rank-and-file Republicans, as well as with Libertarian-oriented Tea Party voters and GOP benefactors.
As the 2016 election approaches, it is likely that we will also be told that having a clear nominee early in the process, rather than a hard-fought, and potentially nasty, campaign for the nomination will be good for the party. This idea is intuitive and attractive, but it should be noted that it also completely false.