pageok
pageok
pageok
President Gerald Ford Has Died:
May he rest in peace. The New York Times obituary is available here.
Walker (mail):
"A moderate in domestic affairs, a conservative in fiscal affairs, and a dyed-in-the-wool internationalist in foreign affairs." I think Ford got less than his due... But then again, perhaps I am biased by the most recently available choices for that high office.
12.27.2006 4:37am
S.A. Miller (mail) (www):
Tom Brokaw Pre-Tapes
Before vacationing, Tom Brokaw (Dana Carvey) covers President Ford death possibilities.
October 26th, 1996
12.27.2006 5:30am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Under rated, under appreciated, installed in office at the lousiest point in the office's history.

He did a good job, and, he was the most gracious of the ex's.
12.27.2006 8:21am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
By most indications, Ford knew that he was potentially giving up his chances at reelection by pardoning Nixon, yet did so anyway. That is the type of courage that we don't often see in our politicians.

Remembering back, President Ford probably made Chevy Chase famous by his constant stumbling and falling down on SNL. Yet, this is one of the most inaccurate stereotypes in our memory - Ford lettered in football, lost the Secret Service when skiing, and apparently had the best handicap of any President in golf.
12.27.2006 8:54am
liberty (mail) (www):
WOW. SNL really was funny once.
12.27.2006 9:13am
Toby:
Bruce

You're right. It is sort of ironic that a two-way starter on two national championship football teams, including the rare MVP as a *center* who chose between the NFL and law school is considered the clumsiest president. Might have something to do with blowing out his knee in football in the days before rebuilding knees so effortlessly.

Probably about as accurate as most oposition characterizations of political foibles, though.
12.27.2006 10:17am
Just Dropping By (mail):
Dang, S.A. Miller beat me to the Brokaw pre-tapes. While I'm sorry Ford has now actually died, I will still always laugh when I think of the line, "He's a former president, Tom. Are you going to say he wasn't delicious?"
12.27.2006 10:30am
Silicon Valley Jim:
A great and unselfish man, gracious in defeat, and a true patriot. He will be missed.
12.27.2006 11:06am
Steve Lubet (mail):
Trivial observation: For the first time in my life, I believe, there are now more Democrats than Republicans among living ex-presidents.
12.27.2006 11:38am
Cornellian (mail):
Ford was a decent guy, something rare among politicans. Oh, how I wish he had been elected President in 1976 instead of Carter.
12.27.2006 12:13pm
godfodder (mail):
He gets my vote for best ex-president.

He shut-up, got out of the way, and didn't keep trying to pull the spotlight back onto himself. God... remember when famous people still had some humility?
12.27.2006 12:15pm
jelewis (mail):
I remember going to the Gerald Ford Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan about 15 years ago and really having appreciated Ford's presidency. I was curious if anyone knew of any writings that provided a good overview of Ford's foreign policy. The only aspect of it that I have seriously researched was his handling of the transition of Portugal from dictatorship of democracy, but can't say that I know much (although I would like to learn) about his policies vis-a-vis Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia
12.27.2006 12:39pm
jelewis (mail):
I remember going to the Gerald Ford Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan about 15 years ago and really having appreciated Ford's presidency. I was curious if anyone knew of any writings that provided a good overview of Ford's foreign policy. The only aspect of it that I have seriously researched was his handling of the transition of Portugal from dictatorship of democracy, but can't say that I know much (although I would like to learn) about his policies vis-a-vis Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia
12.27.2006 12:39pm
Whistle:
Ford was always my favorite president. He didn't try to be larger than life. He didn't screw anything up. That's a great record, as far as presidents go.
12.27.2006 1:24pm
rickm (mail):
Well jewlewis,
if you want an excellent analysis of the Angola situation, read Conflicting Missions by Piero Glesias. It effectively debunks the notion that the Cuban's involved themselves in Angola as a Soviet Proxy. Pretty good read.
12.27.2006 1:53pm
Spartacus (www):
"Steve Lubet (mail):
Trivial observation: For the first time in my life, I believe, there are now more Democrats than Republicans among living ex-presidents."

Trivial observation: that means you were born after Truman died in 1972, before which Truman and Johnson were two living former D's, with no living former R's after Ike died in '69. Indeed, even after Johnson died in '73, there were no living former presidents until Nixon resigned. Since '74, former R'd have outnumbered former D's until now.
12.27.2006 2:36pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Vietnam was bad. Agnew was bad. Watergate was bad. Whip Inflation Now was silly, but at the time we needed silly.
Meanwhile the West Side Highway was falling down, NYC was going broke, and (according to William Brink, d. 7/1/2005, of the Daily News) Ford wasn't helping New York.
I was in junior high school, but my father (who insists he's a Democrat, but who liked Reagan and thought Nixon was an evil man but a good President) laughed at SNL but noted that Ford was the most athletic president.
Then Carter was even sillier.
Yes, Ford did what he had to do and got out of the way, but given his status of never being elected, a little humility might have been in order.
And here's to Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Ford's VP, and to Malcolm Wilson d. 3/13/2000, Rockefeller's LtGov who succeeded him to that office.
I hadn't remembered until I read it here that Ford was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission.
12.27.2006 2:51pm
Steve Henderson (mail):
jelewis said:

I remember going to the Gerald Ford Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan about 15 years ago and really having appreciated Ford's presidency. I was curious if anyone knew of any writings that provided a good overview of Ford's foreign policy. The only aspect of it that I have seriously researched was his handling of the transition of Portugal from dictatorship of democracy, but can't say that I know much (although I would like to learn) about his policies vis-a-vis Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia


Don't mean to nitpick, but the library's actually in Ann Arbor. The museum is in Grand Rapids. Though they're technically one institution, they're in two places.
I wonder if any other presidents did it this way...
12.27.2006 3:00pm
Dave N (mail):
As long as we are nitpicking, Nelson Rockefeller resigned as Governor of New York a full year before Gerald Ford picked him to be Vice President (according to some sources George H.W. Bush was the runner-up).

Regardless, Gerald Ford was the right President for the time he occupied the White House. May he rest in peace.
12.27.2006 5:02pm
lurker:
Let the nitpicking continue--Ford was not a two way starter on two national chamionship teams. He was a backup on good (but not national championship) teams and a one year starter on a lousy team. Pretty good for a President, but he was not Whizzer White. Or Bill Bradley.
12.27.2006 5:21pm
Steve Henderson (mail):
lurker:
Actually, Ford was on the '32 team, which won a split national championship with Southern Cal. I believe more of the polls of the day crowned Southern Cal, but some favored Michigan and the Maize n' Blue still claim that year as a championship one.

He was also on the '33 team; that year, Michigan was named champion in most of the polls, while Ohio State and a few other teams were chosen by a couple other polls.

Don't know this for sure, but I believe the year he was captain, Michigan posted one of its few sub-500 records ever.
12.27.2006 6:34pm
jelewis (mail):
Ok, I went to the museum in Grand Rapids. It is seriously worth a visit. Never made it to the library in Ann Arbor. (Incidentally, the Nixon Center is a think tank in DC and the Nixon Library is in California), whereas the whole Carter deal is in Atlanta
12.27.2006 8:50pm
Can't find a good name:
A couple of things that Gerald Ford deserves credit for doing in his term of office, which I haven't seen mentioned in the obituaries:

1. Signing the law and executive order that legalized private ownership of gold for the first time since the 1930s.

2. Signing the National Emergencies Act to terminate the states of emergency that had been imposed in the 1930s and limit future states of emergency to two years at a time.
12.27.2006 9:25pm
M.E.Butler (mail):
One of the best things Gerald Ford did as President was to appoint Ed Levi attorney general.

Levi took over a department that had been torn apart by Watergate--John Mitchell and Richard Kleindienst were both convicted of Watergate-related crimes (admittedly, Mitchell had left Justice to go to CREEP by then), the Saturday-night massacre had claimed the then AG, Elliott Richardson and the Deputy AG, William Ruckelshaus (as well as Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor), had politicized the FBI and had basically destroyed morale.

Levi turned that all around. Amidst all the other memorials for Ford, he should be remembered with appreciation for bringing Ed Levi to Washington in 1975.
12.28.2006 10:23am
Randy R. (mail):
Sorry, but I disagree with Bennett about Ford's decision to not allow his thoughts on the Iraq war be made known until after his death. It may have been cowardly to do so, but why? The only possible reason Ford wouldn't want his opinion known is either because he didn't want to criticize a sitting president, or because he knew that Fox News and the Bush Ad ministration would hound and harass him for his views, and what 90+ person needs that crap?

Sounds like he knew the type of thugs are in the White House and didn't want to engage them.
12.31.2006 3:38am