Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gerald Ford

I've taken some time to ponder the impact of President Ford's presidency. The actions of President Ford embody the American Way. He was not supposed to be the President. Yet, despite what he wanted to do, be Speaker of the House, he rose to the occassion and led this country through some of our darkest moments, a Presidential resignation and an unpopular war.

Some have tried to compare Bush 43 to President Ford, in that they have led a nation through difficult times. They also cite both President's strong religious faith. Some conservative callers last night on a local Twin Cities talk show stated Bush has actually had a more difficult time as he has drawn great media scrutiny.

Times are much different even over 2 decades. The internet boom has gotten information to a greater number of people. Our nation is polarized. Fewer Americans, IMO, are moderate.

What goes undiscussed though is that President Ford had great personal relationships because of his time in Congress. As President, he golfed with Democrats. Can you imagine that happening now? He served 12 terms in the House. President Ford was a true statesman who could move across party lines to get things done.

After his death, Bob Woodward of the Washington Post released an interview with the late President. Ford did not support the war in Iraq.

"Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Ford said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."

He will always be remembered for his integrity and willingness to be a public servant.

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