Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gerald Ford Dies at 93

Former President Gerald Ford is gone at 93; he's been in frail health for some years. MSNBC has the story.

Ford did a reasonably good job during a difficult time in the aftermath of Watergate, following the flawed presidency of Richard M. Nixon. In his last year in office, however, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld pulled something of a palace coup in the Ford Administration: Cheney became chief of staff and Rumsfeld became secretary of defense. It's ironic that Cheney and Rumsfeld worked for one president who resigned in disgrace, another president who was not elected and yet another president whose legitimacy was in doubt in the 2000 election. With the election of Jimmy Carter, we never found out how much Cheney and Rumsfeld really represented Ford's views. Maybe it's just as well we didn't find out. Congress passed many important reforms during Ford's short term but those reforms continued during the Carter Administration. Those reforms may be the slender thread by which our democracy currently survives.

It was an awkward moment some months back when President Bush trotted out the frail Ford in support of his policies in Iraq.

President Ford, nevertheless, will be fondly remembered.

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