All the talk lately of Walter Mondale being appointed the replacement candidate for late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone reminds me of the last time Mondale served in an elected capacity -- namely as Vice President under Jimmy Carter.

Well, to be more precise, it reminds me of when Carter and Mondale lost their re-election bid to Ronald Reagan and George Bush I. I was six years old and sitting in the back seat of my parents’ car at a gas station. My mom had the radio on and was explaining to me that Ronald Reagan was our new President while my dad was pumping gas. Even at a young age, I still had the good sense to be afraid of Ronald Reagan.

I became immediately terrified that Ronald Reagan -- who didn’t seem at all as friendly and nice as Jimmy Carter, the only President I’d ever been aware of -- would hate the Star Wars movies and make them illegal.

My mom tried to assure me that American Presidents don’t outlaw movie franchises, but I was still skeptical. Of course, Ronald Reagan would later appropriate the term “Star Wars” (no doubt because of the movie series’ popularity) for his proposed Strategic Missile Defense system.

It’s funny that seeing Walter Mondale on television again after so many years would make me think of this. The only memory I have of him from childhood is as a stern-faced foil to Jimmy Carter’s huge grin. The eighties really have come back.