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Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 12:24 AM   #1
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Former President Ford dies at 93

He seemed to be the right guy at the right time. What do you remember about Nixon's resignation, Ford taking over, the pardon, etc.?
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 10:13 AM   #2
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Well....... I remember I was in college at the time. I remember there was a pretty good stink over him giving Nixon a pardon. But it was probably the quickest and easiest way to put the whole scandal behind us. Whether it was right or wrong, that is for each to decide.

I also remember Jimmy Carter speaking(around 1975) in the Union building on campus and I stopped for a brief moment to listen. I didn't stay long because I had barely heard of him and figured there was no way some unknown would win the Democratic nomination. The rest is history.
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

I was four when I watched President Ford pardon President Nixon on live TV. I didn't have a clue what that meant then, obviously.

Later in college as we discussed Watergate in my political science class, my professor said something that has stuck with me all these years -- he said that President Ford *had* to pardon President Nixon to help the country get past Watergate, but it was political suicide to do so. I'd never thought of it that way before, and my respect for President Ford went up that day.



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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 10:53 AM   #4
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Just my 2 cents, I think Ford *had* to pardon Nixon and it cost Ford a very good chance of being elected President. Ford is the only unelected President in US history and I think that would be of more interest to historians & ploitical analysts. I also look at him as an example of who would be President if we had a European party system. In Europe commonly a party is selected at the polls and the party chooses the Prime Minister or chief executive.
Unfortunately with this one example a great case is not made for a different system. Ford was a decent guy but not outstanding in any way although the lack of a strong administration could be attributed to the political alignments at the time as much as his method of selection.
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 11:42 AM   #5
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

I remember the Ford administration quite well. Not a good period of US history. But Ford was a good man, and a true public servant. He deserves our thanks and our respect, IMHO.
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 01:52 PM   #6
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

wasn't he the guy who used to trip all the time?
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 01:57 PM   #7
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
wasn't he the guy who used to trip all the time?
Yes.............and had a wicked slice on the golf course............
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 02:19 PM   #8
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
wasn't he the guy who used to trip all the time?
Jerry Garcia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2006
I remember the Ford administration quite well. Not a good period of US history. But Ford was a good man, and a true public servant. He deserves our thanks and our respect, IMHO.
I think this is how history will judge him. It was a pretty nasty patch... the Watergate hangover, Vietnam, stagflation. He certainly was not the most charismatic guy but he seemed very decent and committed to moving the country beyond the difficulties of the time.





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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 04:04 PM   #9
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Quote:
Originally Posted by peggy

Later in college as we discussed Watergate in my political science class, my professor said something that has stuck with me all these years -- he said that President Ford *had* to pardon President Nixon to help the country get past Watergate, but it was political suicide to do so.
Ok, I'll bite. I've heard this sentiment expressed several times today by talking heads, but nobody has explained to me why Ford *had* to pardon Nixon. Once Nixon resigned, impeachment was moot. Ford could have just let the criminal courts take their course and been univolved. All the pardon did, IMO, is reinforce the notion that the president is above the law. Given the current occupant of the White House, maybe it wasn't such a good message to send.

So....why did Nixon *have* to be pardoned for the numerous and substantial things he did, but Clinton *have* to persecuted to the fullest extent of the law for lying about a bj? If it was really about healing and reconciliation, then....? BTW, I think Clinton's impeachment was ludicrous, but let him stand trial for perjury as a citizen.

For the record, I supported Ford in the 1978 election (although I wasn't a US citizen yet at that time so I couldn't vote). I have nothing against Ford--I figure the pardon was just typically partisan stuff, no better or worse than the pardons Clinton dealt out before he left office. Just more high-profile. But, since Nixon appointed Ford, it certainly had the appearance of a conflict of interest.
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 06:17 PM   #10
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
Ok, I'll bite. I've heard this sentiment expressed several times today by talking heads, but nobody has explained to me why Ford *had* to pardon Nixon. Once Nixon resigned, impeachment was moot. Ford could have just let the criminal courts take their course and been univolved.
My guess is that it was part of a deal made before Nixon resigned, as a way to get him out of there before the hammer came down. Had Ford not promised to pardon him, Nixon might have dug in his heels to the bitter end and made a maximal mess of things.

Just a guess.


Added: I also presume that it had nothing to do with "healing" or "getting the nation past Watergate" as such, and had everything to do with political considerations ("get this albatross off our necks before the midterm elections!").
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 06:40 PM   #11
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
Ok, I'll bite. I've heard this sentiment expressed several times today by talking heads, but nobody has explained to me why Ford *had* to pardon Nixon.
I'm sure it was just a coincidence that Rumsfeld was Ford's chief of staff and later SECDEF (for the first time). I'm sure there's no conspiracy there, even if this guy named Cheney was one of Rumsfeld's up & coming protegés.

I was under the impression that tremendous effort, $$, and distraction would have been wasted on persecuting prosecuting Nixon... resources that could have been better devoted to WIN (Whipping Inflation Now) and other economic issues. And Nixon had been around long enough to have some pretty hefty files on the entire Republican party, let alone the Democrats, so I'm sure he could've taken a few down with him. Ford managed to slice through a pretty nasty Gordian knot and get on with the business of politicking, not backstabbing.

Of course Ford also racked up one of the most impressive futile-veto records ever achieved, which is probably why it's better to let governors into the White House than congresscritters.

My FIL spent the Watergate years behind a CBS camera in about a million offices & conference rooms. Next time I see him I'll ask him about the pardon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
So....why did Nixon *have* to be pardoned for the numerous and substantial things he did, but Clinton *have* to persecuted to the fullest extent of the law for lying about a bj? If it was really about healing and reconciliation, then....? BTW, I think Clinton's impeachment was ludicrous, but let him stand trial for perjury as a citizen.
I bet it had a lot to do with which party was controlling the House & Senate at the time, and who had files on whom. Compared to Nixon, Clinton was a fresh-faced newbie. No wonder he wasted his time screwing around in the Oval Office instead of drinking himself into a coma like the real presidents used to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
For the record, I supported Ford in the 1978 election (although I wasn't a US citizen yet at that time so I couldn't vote).
No problem, the election was in 1976 so your vote would've missed the deadline anyway... although if there's anything worse than letting a congressperson win a presidential election, it's letting a nuclear submariner win one!
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 07:49 PM   #12
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
Ok, I'll bite. I've heard this sentiment expressed several times today by talking heads, but nobody has explained to me why Ford *had* to pardon Nixon.
The country had just been through almost 2 years of Watergate, the economy was in the dumps, Viet Nam was going badly, and there was always the Ruskies to contend with. The LAST thing I wanted to see was several more years of investigations and trials, etc.

He did the right thing!
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-27-2006, 09:19 PM   #13
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

You also didn't see him trashing the succeeding presidents while they were in office - he gets big points from me for being a gentleman. That time in American history was a dismal one...very sad - he provided a calming stopgap. As for stumbling a lot - as I watch ESPN right now, turns out Ford was one of the most athletic Prez's we had - I wonder how many of us wouldn't end up with any of our stumbles on camera if we were follwed by a camera *all* the time.

In any case, for someone who ended up in a situation almost by accident and not by his desire and design, he could have done a lot worse. May he rest in peace.
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-28-2006, 06:36 AM   #14
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

A lot of good reasons have been posted for Ford's pardon. The notion that it was political suicide may not have given him pause at all. He has always said that he did not want to be Vice President, let alone President. His ambition was to be Speaker of the House. Although ineffectual and a Republican, I always thought Ford seemed to be a truly decent guy. Probably what the country needed at the time.

It is interesting that he turned down the Packers and a couple of other NFL teams to attend Yale Law and help coach there.
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-28-2006, 08:06 AM   #15
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

A "personal view" article from a local newspaper:

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-...l=all-news-hed
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-28-2006, 03:46 PM   #16
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
Ok, I'll bite. I've heard this sentiment expressed several times today by talking heads, but nobody has explained to me why Ford *had* to pardon Nixon. Once Nixon resigned, impeachment was moot. Ford could have just let the criminal courts take their course and been univolved. All the pardon did, IMO, is reinforce the notion that the president is above the law. Given the current occupant of the White House, maybe it wasn't such a good message to send.

So....why did Nixon *have* to be pardoned for the numerous and substantial things he did, but Clinton *have* to persecuted to the fullest extent of the law for lying about a bj? If it was really about healing and reconciliation, then....? BTW, I think Clinton's impeachment was ludicrous, but let him stand trial for perjury as a citizen.

For the record, I supported Ford in the 1978 election (although I wasn't a US citizen yet at that time so I couldn't vote). I have nothing against Ford--I figure the pardon was just typically partisan stuff, no better or worse than the pardons Clinton dealt out before he left office. Just more high-profile. But, since Nixon appointed Ford, it certainly had the appearance of a conflict of interest.
OK... I have seen a few of the historians talk about it and some of the people that were in the White House... first, he did not 'have' to do it.. but...

They said there were many troubles in the country, the Communists, Vietnam, the worst unemployment in 40 years, the highest inflation in many years.... and the Nixon investigations were taking up 25% of their time... so he could not be 'uninvolved'...

So, he did it for the country to heal AND give him and his staff more time for more serious problems.

And all of the historians said there was NO evidence of any 'deal' to pardon Nixon... and if I remember what was being said, it took him a month or two to do the pardon... if it was a deal, why not right away??
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-28-2006, 06:37 PM   #17
 
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

I never blamed Ford for the Nixon Pardon, even though I am a Democrat. It was a way for the country to 'Move on'.

If the tables were turned and it was a Democratic President giving a Pardon to a former Democratic President, I'm sure we would never hear the end of it.

The drum still beats against Jimmy Carter for 20% interest rates, even on this forum, when most know better that this was exactly the bitter medicine the country had to take to quell inflation.

Let's all try to be objective. Yes, Clinton may have got a Blow Jo*, but did this really hurt the country or are you just envious?
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-28-2006, 06:41 PM   #18
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

I did not have sex with that woman... :P

But she did give me a world-class hummer...
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-28-2006, 07:04 PM   #19
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Yes, Clinton may have got a **** ***, but did this really hurt the country
...no, not really...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
... or are you just envious?
...noooo!




Can you give us a third alternative?

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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93
Old 12-28-2006, 07:39 PM   #20
 
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Re: Former President Ford dies at 93

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!

Can you give us a third alternative?

No Problem!

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