Former President Gerald Ford has died:

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) – Former President Gerald R. Ford, who declared “Our long national nightmare is over” as he replaced Richard Nixon but may have doomed his own chances of election by pardoning his disgraced predecessor, has died. He was 93.

A good man, who did his best to heal the nation.


Just so, David. Whatever else might be said about his presidency, good and bad, one must, if one is fair, include that.

Gerry Ford walked into a totally impossible situation.  He did so because he thought he could do some good.  And, because his country called.

Given the political factors of the time, some of which David addressed, there was no way that he could walk out a political victor. He knew this going in.  But, because his country called, and he was needed, in he went.  He faced down an angry electorate, and an even angrier and extraordinarily partisan mainstream media, that, having made its first kill in a number of dry years, was now searching for fresh meat.  A logical first stop on that hunt was the new President, Gerry Ford.  After all, he was one of those hated Republicans. Thus it was, in the short term, that his reputation was less than he deserved.
But, Gerry Ford was that rare political individual… someone who saw that there was value in something beyond the political.   Not only saw it, but sought it out and attempted to bring it out in others.  Even his political opponents.

That quality is all too rare today.

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2 Responses to “President Gerald Ford: RIP”

  1. Circa 1975, Gerald Ford’s highest political aspiration was to be Speaker of the HOuse, a goal which seemed impossible at the time.  Ford never sought the presidency, nor did he shun it when it was thrust apon him.

    Reading the various article sn Ford this morning, I came across an interesting observation that liberal reviled Ford for opposing President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War or Poverty.  Given that the War on Poverty has been the costliest failure in our nation’s history, trillions spent and utterly no reduction in poverty, Ford was revilled for being right.

    As for Ford’s biggest decision, the Nixon pardon, it was the right decision at the timee, which I supported.  However I have to wonder in hindsight if the pardon of Nixon gave us the disaster of the Carter presidency.  I think not.  The media was going to torture anybody who replaced Nixon.

    As an ex president, Ford practices what should be the first rule of former presidents: First do no harm.  It ia lesson Carter and Clinton should heed.

    Finally, Ford was a nice person and a good man.  Few politicians can make such a claim.


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