Wednesday, December 27, 2006

On President Ford, 2: A comment.

Nation "Notion" blogger, John Nichols, turns in this piece about the late President Ford. He praises Ford's decency and service,

As president, Ford served more ably and honestly than many of his successors. But he was, and will always be, remembered as an accidental president. Perhaps that is not fair to him, but nor is it fair to the American people to have a president assume office in such a dysfunctional manner.

However, he criticizes the process that created President Gerald R. Ford,

There will be a bit of discussion about how best to honor Ford. But, in truth, the best way to honor this former president is to close the Constitutional loophole that allowed him to become president. The presidency is already too regal to permit chief executives to annoint [sic] their successors -- and, perhaps, to extract the promise of a full presidential pardon or some other favor, as critics suggested Nixon did with Ford.

This is, I submit, in a bit of an error. There aren't really any serious electoral tests for the vice presidency. In fact, my recent successful campaign for vice president of an organization at school was, likely, more of an electoral test than anything a vice president has to face. He is selected at the convention by the presidential nominee and, in Indiana, anyway, slated with the presidential candidate on a ticket.

Gerald Ford was confirmed by the House and Senate, more of a test - I warrant - than anything any vice president since Nelson Rockefeller has endured. He passed the test of a Democratic Congress (in 1973, one will recall, The vice president is elected in a coattails position; no one has, save maybe in the 2004 election, voted against a ticket based on the vice presidential candidate. In any event, the president, candidate or elected, anoints his de jure successor at the party convention - and the American people merely confirm it when they vote for the president. Of course, their votes don't count - we have an Electoral College.

Also, we have a Republic. That old chestnut hardly bears a rehash.


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