Gerald Ford Dead At 93

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Evo

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I met him a few times, a very well spoken, likeable man. Those were some tuff times to be a president. Rest in peace.
 

Astronuc

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RIP President Ford.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6211407.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Ford

The country's 38th president has died. Gerald Ford was 93. Ford was initially seen as a caretaker for the presidency -- the bridge between a disgraced Richard Nixon and the next man elected to the White House, Jimmy Carter. But time cast a more favorable light on Ford's two-and-a-half years in office. He won praise as a man whose calm and straightforward demeanor helped steer the nation through some turbulent times.
President Ford
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6684817
Seen as Steady Hand in a Time of Uncertainty

I would agree with that assessment.
 
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Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon's scandal-shattered White House as the 38th and only unelected president in America's history, has died, his wife, Betty, said Tuesday. He was 93.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/27/politics/main2299458.shtml
Wasn't LBJ an unelected President?

I never met President Ford so I can't say much about him. Living to 93 is something else. The Prez is just now getting down with the Soul Master, James Brown, wherever they be at!
 

Astronuc

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BobG

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Wasn't LBJ an unelected President?

I never met President Ford so I can't say much about him. Living to 93 is something else. The Prez is just now getting down with the Soul Master, James Brown, wherever they be at!
Both the President and Vice-President are elected on the same ticket. A vote for Bush as President is a vote for Cheney as Vice-President ..... and as presidential successor to Bush should the need arise.

That was actually an early change. Originally, whoever finished second in the Presidential election became Vice-President. Every president except Ford was elected as President or as Vice-President.

Nixon and Spiro Agnew were elected President and Vice-President in 1972. Agnew had to resign due to a scandal unrelated to Watergate, so Ford was nominated as a replacement for Agnew by Nixon and then approved by the Senate.

(Ford is one of only two unelected Vice-Presidents. Nelson Rockefeller became Ford's VP the same way Ford became Nixon's VP)
 
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Rach3

I bet Jimmy isn't feeling very optimistic today.
 

Ivan Seeking

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"If you want to find Gerald Ford on a golf course, just look for the injured people" - Gerald Ford
 

Astronuc

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"I'm a Ford, not a Lincoln" - Gerald Ford :rofl: He did have a great sense of humor. Carter is still cruising.
 

BobG

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I remember being surprised that people were so upset about Ford pardoning Nixon. As far as I was concerned, Watergate was over as soon as Nixon resigned. Had there been an impeachment, removing him from office was the worst punishment they could have dealt out.

I think it was a little soon to pardon Nixon. Maybe Ford would have gotten a better response if people had a glimpse of what lay ahead if Nixon were prosecuted after his resignation. The process would have gone on for years and soon as people realized what lay ahead, they would have been a lot more receptive to a pardon.

I also wondered about the attitude of people that wanted Nixon prosecuted after he left office. It was almost as if getting Nixon out of office wasn't enough - there still might be a few people who believed Nixon was just being railroaded by Democrats and there were those who seemed to feel the issue couldn't be let to die until every single person in the United States proclaimed Nixon a criminal.

Those people might have been right. I felt that ten years later you weren't going to find many people defending Nixon. Twenty-four years later, you probably couldn't find anyone with any passion left about Watergate (except for Pat Buchanon, but he was part of the Nixon administration). Yet how else can you explain Clinton's impeachment?

About the only explanation I can think of is that the Clinton impeachment was a long overdue payback for what Democrats were blamed for doing to Nixon. I think people who live in DC and are that involved in politics may lose touch with the rest of the country just a little bit, because Republicans seemed shocked to find that most of the country thought the Clinton impeachment was one of the most absurd things they'd ever seen Washington do.

I thought Ford was a solid person to finish out Nixon's term, but he never should have run for re-election. Part of putting Watergate to rest would be for Nixon's replacement to bow out gracefully. I think if a more moderate candidate than Reagan would have run for nomination, Ford would have stayed out of the race. At that time, the Republican Party was much more moderate and Reagan was part of the ultra-conservative fringe that worried Republicans almost as much they worried Democrats.
 

Gokul43201

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I think it was a little soon to pardon Nixon. Maybe Ford would have gotten a better response if people had a glimpse of what lay ahead if Nixon were prosecuted after his resignation. The process would have gone on for years and soon as people realized what lay ahead, they would have been a lot more receptive to a pardon.
But this would be just the thing that Ford wanted to avoid. And he stood by his conviction. So it took the people (and the majority of the Democratic party) over a decade to lose the emotional flotsam that was clogging their drai...err brains, and assess the decision objectively. But that's expected of people (and the majority of the Democratic party). Eventually, they did come to their senses and acknowledge the value of Ford's decision. I think that even in the people's minds, Ford now gains a great deal of respect for this. And I'm sure Ford would much rather have this genuine, albeit delayed recognition than the temporary appeasement of masses that the alternative would have led to.

Those people might have been right. I felt that ten years later you weren't going to find many people defending Nixon. Twenty-four years later, you probably couldn't find anyone with any passion left about Watergate (except for Pat Buchanon, but he was part of the Nixon administration). Yet how else can you explain Clinton's impeachment?
And how else would you explain the 2 presidential historians in the '96 Schlesinger Poll that gave Nixon a "near great" rating? (thanks, Jim, for the link). Oh, maybe there's a better explanation for that...I'm just being cynical.
 

BobG

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And how else would you explain the 2 presidential historians in the '96 Schlesinger Poll that gave Nixon a "near great" rating? (thanks, Jim, for the link). Oh, maybe there's a better explanation for that...I'm just being cynical.
Interesting to compare to a Federalist Society/Wall Street Journal poll nearly 10 years later. Presidential rankings

Part of the difference may be the 2005 poll tried to balance conservative and liberal scholars, but part may also be time.

Wilson's League of Nations didn't work out, but was seen as the seed towards the United Nations. The promise of the United Nations doesn't seem nearly as strong as it did 10 years ago.

Likewise, Eisenhower keeps moving up the ranks. Some economists felt the economic problems of the seventies were caused by Eisenhower in the fifties. Thirty years later, the pain of paying for Eisenhower's decisions seems less than the benefits.

Considering every recent Republican scores better in the 2005 poll and every recent Democrat scores worse in the 2005 poll, the difference in political leanings of those polled is probably the biggest difference, though - in the 2005 poll, Bush ranked 6th best in history by Republican leaning responders and 6th worst by Democratic leaning responders.

(When Polk wound up as a compromise candidate for Democrats, the Whigs response was "Who is James K Polk?" At least that question has lasted.)
 
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As luck would have it, I will be vacationing in DC this weekend. It will be tough to get around with all the people coming to pay their last respects. I for one find no joy in this death.
 
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Thank you BobG and Astronuc.

LBJ was head and shoulders above anything currently in the office. A true John Wayne figure. His morning shower was automatically set at 53˚F to keep him spry first thing.

Mr. Ford had an assassination attempt on him. Who or what was behind that?

Did anyone else see Edward's awkward announcement about running for office? His jeans were way too clean and his shirt cuffs were rolled up like some kind of Paul Revere get up!
 

Astronuc

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Mr. Ford had an assassination attempt on him. Who or what was behind that?
That was Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynette_"Squeaky"_Fromme#Assassination_attempt

Did anyone else see Edward's awkward announcement about running for office? His jeans were way too clean and his shirt cuffs were rolled up like some kind of Paul Revere get up!
We started a thread on Presidential Candidate 2008. Edward's is too clean cut - I'd like to see someone with long hair and a beard, and wearing denim jeans and a shirt with rolled-up sleeves run for president. :rofl:
 

Ivan Seeking

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"In the firm belief that the American public deserves a better explanation than that thus far given by the Air Force, I strongly recommend that there be a committee investigation of the UFO phenomena. I think we owe it to the people to establish credibility regarding UFOs, and to produce the greatest possible enlightenment of the subject."
- Gerald Ford
http://ufos.about.com/b/a/256836.htm
http://www.presidentialufo.com/ufotalk.htm [Broken]
 
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I'd like to see someone with long hair and a beard, and wearing denim jeans and a shirt with rolled-up sleeves run for president. :rofl:
Willie Nelson?
 

Gokul43201

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A bit of info about the Nixon pardon that I was completely unaware of:

In a 2004 interview with Bob Woodward, reported Thursday night on The Washington Post’s Web site, Mr. Ford offered another, less lofty motive for the pardon: his friendship with Nixon, which lasted for two decades after the pardon and which letters show was closer than publicly understood.

“I had no hesitancy about granting the pardon,” Mr. Ford told Mr. Woodward, “because I felt that we had this relationship and that I didn’t want to see my real friend have the stigma.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/29/washington/29pardon.html?hp&ex=1167368400&en=142138c3f9184735&ei=5094&partner=homepage
 
Here's an interesting point Noonan missed that only just ocurred to me now:

The reason Ford was the right man for the pardon (which was a good move, sorry) is because he was never elected.

She mentions how utterly lacking in spite and bile he was. Here's her description:
Second, Ford's personal dignity--his plain Midwestern rectitude, his old-style, pipe-smoking American normality, and his characterological absence of bile, spite and malice--helped the nation over and through the great tearing of the fabric that was Watergate. This is often referred to, and yet it is hard to communicate what a relief it was. Whether right or wrong, hopeless or wise, a normal man was in charge. This was a balm, a real gift to the country.
No one like that could successfully prosecute a presidential campaign. Success in a general election (let alone a primary) requires a great deal of willingness to hit back. Even those candidates who elect not to hit back all the time must demonstrate their willingness at other times.

I admit he did far better than expected in the 1976 campaign, but ultimately he did not prevail.
 

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