The Walter F. Mondale Fund-Raising and Faith-spreading Road Show traveled from Des Moines to Detroit today to preach the gospel according to Jimmy Carter and to pad the treasuries of Democratic Party committees and candidates.
The trip was the Vice President's seventh excursion on the have-speech-will-travel circuit since the Carter administration took office. Mondale has scheduled two more fund-raising trips, to Arkansas and North Carolina, within the next two weeks.
Mondale flew to Iowa Friday to appear at a dinner and reception that opened the 1978 re-election campaign of Sen. Dick Clark.
This morning he was up early to address a breakfast reception for about 20 Iowans who have already given $1,000 or more to Clark's campaign and then to give a pep talk to the governing board of Iowa's Democratic Party.
At noon, Mondale flew here to Detroit, where he inspected Renaissance Center, a towering cylindrical cluster of hotels and office buildings on the Detroit River which is in the midst of opening ceremonies this weekend.
With minor local variations, Mondale's message at all the stops was the same.
He offered rich praise of Carter, calling the President "a uniquely intelligent and dedicated public servant" who intends to "give the American people the most open government they've ever had."
Here in Detroit he added that the outspokenness of U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young was simply a function of that openness. He called Young a "marvelous person who is doing a splendid job." saying that even the Vice President sometimes may "say things inartfully."
In Iowa, Mondale assured audiences they would be delighted with Carter's farm program.
In Detroit, he said that even the automobile industry would be satisfied with the President's upcoming energy package: "It will require sacrifices, sure, but the sacrifices will be fair and even across the board."
Mondale's speech tonight, benefitting the Michigan Democratic Party, was a tribute to Philip Hart, the highly respected senator from Michigan who died in December.
The Vice President announced that a scenic drive had been named after Hart in Sleeping Bear Dune National Recreation Area, a park on Lake Michigan that was a pet project of the late senator.
The vice presidential trips are considerable productions.
On this weekend's "minor" trip Mondale was accompanied on his Air Force jet by eight staff members, including a doctor and his personal photographer, by 15 Secret Service agents, and by half a dozen reporters.
At each stop the entourage was met by advance workers who had come earlier, and by dozens of local Secret Service agents to augment the travelling crew.
The costs of the road show are split. The government pays for the Secret Service agents and the doctor. News organizations pay their reporters' way. Travel expenses for Mondale and his aides are billed to the political group that benefits from the vice presidential visit.
Mike Berman, a political specialist on Mondale's staff, said this weekend's trip would cost Sen. Clark's campaign fund and the Michigan Democratic Party about $3,000 each.
The two organizations expected to net $40,000 each from the receptions and dinners Mondale attended.