Ford's the One
Wednesday, December 27, 2006 :::
By now, everyone knows that former President Gerald Ford has died. While I will leave it to others to write more specifically about his legacy, there's one personal moment I'd like to add to the general discussion:
In the 1976 election year, a classmate and I were asked to address the masses at Greenwood Elementary School over the p.a. system. Our topic was "Who are you supporting for president and why?"
I chose Gerald Ford.
I can't remember a lot of what I said, but it largely boiled down to a choice between a man of vast government experience who, in spite of his mistakes (for some reason, I mentioned the cut-off of aid to South Vietnam, and the troubles in Angola, those "WIN" buttons and more...I think) was far better than an untested, one-term Georgia governor who had no foreign affairs experience.
The nation (narrowly) decided otherwise. They promptly corrected this mistake four years later.
I never really lost the affinity for Ford, believing in 1980 that he would have clinched a Reagan victory if he accepted the vice presidential nomination. When that didn't happen, I became a John Anderson kid (after Kennedy lost to Carter in the Democratic primaries, that is).
Ford was a quiet, effective, decent and under-rated man. We could use someone like him today.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 12/27/2006