Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Former President Ford dies at 93

CNN: Former President Ford dies at 93
"RANCHO MIRAGE, California (CNN) -- Former President Gerald R. Ford, who sought to heal the nation after the tumultuous years of the Watergate scandal, died Tuesday at age 93, his widow, Betty Ford said.

A statement issued by Ford's office said he "died peacefully" at 6:45 p.m. at his home in Rancho Mirage, California.

"His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country," said a written statement from Betty Ford. ..."

I remember the relief that I felt on that day in August 1974 when Gerald Ford assumed the Presidency. In his self-effacing way he spoke to the nation, characterizing himself as a "Ford, not a Lincoln" -- a delightfully ambiguous turn of phrase that at once was a nod to the major industry of his home state of Michigan and a nod to the history of the Presidency.

Ford, by pardoning Nixon, essentially ended his prospects of being elected in 1976, but he did the country a major service by ending the feeding frenzy that was starting to erupt. The country could begin to heal.

I still wonder how the history of the United States in the latter years of the 20th century might have unfolded had he been elected in 1976.

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