Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald R Ford - RIP

From The Washington Post:

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., 93, who became the 38th president of the United States as a result of some of the most extraordinary events in U.S. history and sought to restore the nation's confidence in the basic institutions of government, has died. His wife, Betty, reported the death in a statement last night.

"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age," Betty Ford said in a brief statement issued from her husband's office in Rancho Mirage, Calif. "His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country."

The statement did not say where Ford died or give a cause of death. Ford had battled pneumonia in January and underwent two heart treatments -- including an angioplasty -- in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Gerald Ford was a decent man who was, unfortunately, a member of the pre-Goldwater/Reagan class of "country club Republicans" whose style of governance was little different from Democrats (except in that era they were less likely to support segregation than Democrats were).

Ford was chosen by President Richard Nixon to fill the role of Vice President after the resignation of Sipro Agnew and then ascended to the Oval Office upon the resignation of President Nixon, making him the only president in the nation's history to have not been elected to either office.

In his inaugural address Ford said, "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. . ." and then proceeded to put that "nightmare" (of Watergate) to rest through what was the most controversial decision of his short presidency - the decision to pardon Richard Nixon.

Fair or not the Nixon pardon and all of its consequences (including the disastrous Carter Administration) is the chief legacy of Ford's tenure as president.