Wednesday, December 27, 2006

President Gerald R. Ford: 1913-2006

It might seem strange, since President Ford was generally considered a caretaker president, stepping in for the disgraced Richard Nixon, that I would take a post to eulogize him. In the stinking political swamp of Washington, and especially during the toxic last days of the second Nixon administration, Gerald Ford seemed to be a decent public servant trying to do a good job. He pardoned Nixon, which probably was the reason for his defeat in the 1976 election, though I doubt that any Republican could beat a Democrat after Nixon's excesses, but he closed the public book on Watergate. He inherited a darkened office in a time of national torpor and unrest. Still, he and Mrs. Ford proved that it is possible to lead with dignity under pressure.

A decent man, who should serve as a rebuke to politicians past and present who decided to emulate Richard Nixon at his worst, not Ford at his best. I only hope that the powers-that-be give Gerald Ford a funeral equal to the canonization of Ronald Reagan. Ford kept America from falling apart when it was most possible; Reagan broke the law.

The AP story, via CNN.


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