Gerald Ford succeeded to the Presidency on this day 49 years ago, upon the resignation of Richard Nixon, due to the Watergate Scandal, and the Republican Party leadership pushing him to leave the Presidency.
A half century ago, the Republican Party leadership had principles, unlike today in the time of the Donald Trump crisis, when they have, consistently, backed him even through two impeachments, three indictments, and more to come!
Gerald Ford never expected to be President, and was appointed Vice President, with approval of the opposition controlled Democratic Party, upon the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, who left due to his own corruption, which, thankfully, was discovered, as he would have been a true nightmare, worse than Nixon, had he become President!
Gerald Ford’s ranking has been in the mid 20s among Presidents, with him best remembered for pardoning Nixon, which was criticized at the time; commended a quarter century later; and now has been criticized again as having made it more difficult to remove Donald Trump from the Presidency, when there were opportunities to do so.
And now, Donald Trump is refusing to accept limits on what he can say about his upcoming trials, and is attacking prosecutors, judges, and potential witnesses, and no easy answer what to do about his recklessness.
Gerald Ford is perceived as the most “approachable” Republican President, and his wife, Betty Ford, was delightful as First Lady.
His major impact long term was his appointment of Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, who started out as a “conservative”, and retired 35 years later as the most “liberal” member of the Court, having grown and expanded his views on the Constitution and its meaning!
When Ford passed away in 2006, the nation mourned the death of a President who, despite much turmoil at the time, took us through a difficult time with grace and decency!