Wednesday, December 27, 2006

President Ford Dies

President Gerald R. Ford, the nation's only President unelected as either President or Vice President, died last night at his home in Rancho Mirage, CA, at the age of 93. The former University of Michigan football star, distinguished WWII veteran, and 13-term U.S. House Rep assumed the vice presidency after the resignation of Nixon's Veep, Spiro T. Agnew, amidst corruption charges and ascended to the presidency upon the resignation of Nixon under threat of impeachment over the Watergate scandal. Ford was well received by the American public with a high approval rating: however, when the Nebraskan native pardoned President Nixon to "bind up the nation's wounds," his ratings tanked. In his bid for election in his own right in 1976, the moderate Republican barely survived a spirited challenge in the 1976 Republican primaries from Ronald Reagan and narrowly lost his election bid to the Plains peanut farmer who asked people to trust him. Ford was the nation's longest lived president (over a month more than Reagan); the first adopted president (born Leslie King); and the only President to testify in front of a Congressional committee while President. Ford will be remembered as a decent man who helped the nation heal in the painful aftermath of Watergate and Vietnam.

Cf. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20061227/D8M9601G0.html and FNC's Special Report with Britt Hume.

2 comments:

piperfromtn said...

Should I hold back? Naaah.  Even though my uncle probably knew him via GSA.

The only thing I have against Ford is that is implemented gun control(no, not a grip on your pistol)in D.C. and he appointed John Paul Stevens to the Supreme Court.  
Other than that, he's okay.

Two huge mistakes that have cost the lives of many.

While realizing this is anecdotal, I lived in D.C. during 1977, after the gun control legislation was passed but not fully implemented and it's concomitant effect of increasing crime had yet to occur.  I played alone in parks, went to the Smithsonian, by myself(age 14), and rode the Metro alone.  Try doing this now and you'll give an undertaker some work.

Could it be that the whole 'Squeeky-Fromme-and-the-other-gal-attempted-assassination' thing made him naively think that he would be safer, personally?
Oh well, we're all less safe in D.C. now, even as visitors.  And many abortions continued to occur because of Justice Stevens.  

jakeho said...

Jon, I agree that Ford exemplified the moderate wing of the GOP that held sway until the ascendancy of the Gipper. Ford actually was following the maxim of Nixon to "govern from the middle." Even though my ideology was not in lockstep with Ford, I do believe that his honest, straightforward, non-partisan manner was what the country needed at the time to heal the nation's wounds. (As Mitch McConnell indicated, I think that he thus helped preserve the GOP as a viable party post Watergate.) In his post-Presidency period, Ford's negative evaluation of Reagan's presidential potential and his friendship with Carter made one wonder about his prescience and judgment.