On two occasions I have had the good fortune to shake Mr. Mondale's hand. I even voted for him in 1984. He's a genuinely nice, honorable man. But about 152 weeks ago, filling in for the late Paul Wellstone, Walter reached a milestone never before achieved in American Politics: He became the first American to lose an election in all 50 states. In 1984, he lost every state except Minnesota running against Ronald Reagan. So for many years he was tied at 49 with George McGovern (Mondale had never lost a statewide race in Minnesota). But his loss in 2002, his first loss ever in Minnesota, pushed him over the top to 50. Sometimes Nice Guys Really Do Finish Last.