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12-28-06 President Gerald Ford- 1913-2006

The United States was fortunate to have Gerald Ford as its 38th President.

AVOC

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December 28, 2006

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President Gerald Ford- 1913-2006

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

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Photo courtesy Fox News Channel

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Gerald Ford was the right man for his time in history.   His calm and reassuring demeanor was good for the nation after the Hullabaloo of Watergate.   The Media and National Democrats had been on a “feeding frenzy” for a couple of years.“Woodward and Bernstein” had become part of our lexicon.   (Bob Woodward is trying hard in his Senior Days to recapture the glory of those days.His release of the Ford interview on Bush before the Ford Funeral is another low point for the American Media)

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Ford never let his feet get off the ground.The Pardon was stunning but turned out to be the right thing for the nation.   That is the “stuff” of true leaders- being able to do the right thing while being vilified.   Lincoln and Truman had similar experiences.History is kinder.It is interesting how the “Reporters”, newspaper and magazines or what they said seldom endures.   Historians without a political agenda or bias will be the best judge of Gerald Ford- as with most Presidents.

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The United States was fortunate to have Gerald Ford as its 38th President.


President Gerald Ford (1913 - 2006)

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The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/27/AR2006122700528_pf.html

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December 27, 2006

Gerald R. Ford, 93, Dies; Led in Watergate's Wake

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By J.Y. Smith and Lou Cannon
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, December 27, 2006; 7:36 AM

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Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., 93, who became the 38th president of the United States as a result of some of the most extraordinary events in U.S. history and sought to restore the nation's confidence in the basic institutions of government, has died. His wife, Betty, reported the death in a statement last night.

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"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age," Betty Ford said in a brief statement issued from her husband's office in Rancho Mirage, Calif. "His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country."

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Ford died at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday (PST) at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., about 130 miles east of Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported. No cause of death was given.

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Funeral services will take place in Washington and Grand Rapids, Michigan, his boyhood home, the wire service reported, and public viewings will be held in California, Washington and Grand Rapids. More details are expected later today. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, in Ann Arbor, and the Ford museum, in Grand Rapids, will open their lobbies for extended hours so people can sign condolence books. People can also send messages of condolence, or donate to a memorial fund, through the Gerald Ford memorial website.

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Ford had battled pneumonia in January and underwent two heart treatments -- including an angioplasty -- in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

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"With his quiet integrity, common sense, and kind instincts, President Ford helped heal our land and restore public confidence in the Presidency," President Bush said last night in a statement. Bush was notified of Ford's death shortly before 11 p.m., the White House said. He is scheduled make a public statement about Ford this morning.

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Vice president Dick Cheney, who served as Ford's chief of staff in the White House, said the late president "embodied the best values of a great generation: decency, integrity, and devotion to duty."

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"When he left office, he had restored public trust in the presidency," Cheney said in a statement, "and the nation once again looked to the future with confidence and faith."

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Ford was the longest-living president, followed by Ronald Reagan, who also died at 93. Former first lady Nancy Reagan remembered him in a statement as "a dear friend and close political ally" of the Reagans, praising him for speaking out "on issues important to us all" and for his early support of stem cell research, the Associated Press said.

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Ford was the only occupant of the White House never elected either to the presidency or the vice presidency. A former Republican congressman from Grand Rapids, Mich., he always claimed that his highest ambition was to be speaker of the House of Representatives. He had declined opportunities to run for the Senate and for governor of Michigan…….


MyWay.Com

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060117/D8F68N9O0.html

January 17, 2006

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Former President Gerald Ford Hospitalized

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) - Former President Ford was undergoing treatment for pneumonia Monday at the same facility where he was briefly hospitalized a month ago, his chief of staff said. He was said to be doing well.

Ford, 92, was admitted Saturday to Eisenhower Medical Center near his home in Rancho Mirage in Southern California, Penny Circle said.

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"Based on his age it is prudent for his initial course of treatment - IV antibiotics - to be done at the hospital," Circle told The Associated Press.

Ford was expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday or Thursday, she said.

"He's doing very well," she said. …….

He became the nation's oldest living former president after the death of Ronald Reagan in 2004.

Ford was House minority leader when President Nixon chose him to replace the resigned Spiro Agnew as vice president in 1973. Ford became president on Aug. 9, 1974, when Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal.


AmericanPresident.Org

http://www.americanpresident.org/history/geraldford/

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Gerald Rudolph Ford (1974-1977)

38th President of the United States

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Vice President
: Nelson Rockefeller (1974 -1977)

Born: July 14, 1913, in Omaha, NE

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Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. was, in many ways, the perfect choice to restore America's broken confidence after Richard Nixon. Straightforward and honest, a man of recognized decency, he traced his personal qualities back to his Midwestern childhood. Raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by his mother and stepfather, Ford didn't learn that he was adopted until he was almost fifteen. "My stepfather was a magnificent person," he remembered, "and my mother equally wonderful. So I couldn't have written a better prescription for a superb family upbringing."

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Ford grew up to become an outstanding football player, serving as captain of his high school team, then playing all through his years at the University of Michigan. At Yale University, where he attended law school, he worked on the side as a football coach. When he returned home at the end of World War II, in which he served overseas as a navy combat officer, it was with a new feeling for public service. "I came back a converted internationalist," he recalled, "and of course our congressman at that time was an avowed, dedicated isolationist. And I thought he ought to be replaced. Nobody thought I could win. I ended up winning two to one."

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"I had just taken the oath of office along with all the other freshmen and this man walked up to me and he said, 'I'm Dick Nixon from California. I welcome you here in the House Chamber.' That was January of '49."

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For twenty-five years, Ford served in the House of Representatives, specializing in military matters and the budgeting process. He was appointed Minority Leader in 1964, with his highest ambition to become speaker of the House. In 1968, he watched fellow Republican Richard Nixon become elected president alongside Spiro Agnew. Four years later, in the midst of Nixon's reelection campaign, Ford learned about Watergate.

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"I was dumbfounded by the stupidity of the Watergate break-in," Ford later said, "and on the Monday following that break-in, or perhaps it was Saturday night, I had a meeting with John Mitchell, who was then in charge of Nixon's campaign. 'Well,' I said to John, 'did the President, did the White House, did you know anything about this stupid break-in?' And John looked me right in the eye and said, 'Absolutely not.' So on that assurance I took the firm stand that it was not a White House-conceived or -executed operation."

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Even as the Watergate controversy was heating up, Nixon's vice president was in his own trouble. During the summer of 1973, it was disclosed that Spiro Agnew had received bribes from building contractors while he served as governor of Maryland. To escape prosecution, he was attempting to make a plea bargain. "About two days, maybe one day before the story broke," Ford recalled, "Nixon invited me to come down to the executive office in the old executive office building. I had no reason to know why I was being called.

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"I was minority leader. He asked me to come down there, and for an hour and a half, we sat there and talked very informally-reminisced about our long friendship. It was a strange conversation. I finally got a call to come to the floor of the House immediately, for a vote. So I left. I got on the floor and two or three of my colleagues on the Republican side grabbed me and said, 'Agnew's resigning.' That was the first real knowledge I had that he had taken that action."

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Ford suddenly knew that Nixon was considering him as a replacement for Spiro Agnew. Nixon's preference would have been John Connally of Texas, but support for a Connally appointment did not exist in Congress, and Nixon knew it. He would be forced to do what party leaders had so often done at traditional national conventions: look for somebody who could command a majority, somebody safe. The search for a compromise led directly to Gerald Ford.

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"Well, that night I was home with Betty," Ford remembered, "and about eight-thirty after dinner I got a call from Mel Laird and Mel said, "I'm down at the White House. Would you accept the nomination for vice president if it was offered?" And I said I guess I would. I knew if I was offered it I would accept it but I never thought that being vice president would lead to being president."

Just after Ford became vice president, Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor, was fired, and the White House scandal became even more heated. In the midst of congressional talk of impeaching Richard Nixon, Ford suddenly found himself also in the line of fire. "It was very, very uncomfortable," he recalled. "I disagreed privately with some of the actions that were taken by the Nixon White House. I never had good relations with Haldeman and Ehrlichman and Chuck Colson.

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My personality, my background didn't fit with them. So I felt that President Nixon was getting some bad advice. And it was a very narrow path for nine months. If I was critical of Nixon, the press and the public would have said, well, he was trying to undercut Nixon so he will get the job. On the other hand, if I stayed too loyal it might appear that I was supporting somebody who was involved in this very unwise action. So I had to go down this narrow path of not supporting him too much or not criticizing him too frequently. It was not a pleasant experience."

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On Thursday, August 1, 1974, Ford received a phone call from Alexander Haig telling him there was a "smoking gun"-evidence that Nixon was involved in the Watergate cover-up. "Al Haig [asked] to come over and see me," Ford remembered, "to tell me that there would be a new tape released on a Monday, and he said the evidence in there was devastating and there would probably be either an impeachment or a resignation. And he said, 'I'm just warning you that you've got to be prepared, that things might change dramatically and you could become president.' And I said, 'Betty, I don't think we're ever going to live in the vice president's house."

Nickname: "Jerry"

Education: University of Michigan (1935); Yale University Law School (1941)

Religion
: Episcopalian

Marriage
: Elizabeth "Betty" Bloomer Warren (1918- ), on October 15, 1948

Children
: Michael Gerald Ford (1950- ); John Gardner Ford (1952- ); Steven Meigs Ford (1956- ); Susan Elizabeth Ford (1957- )

Career
: Lawyer, Public Official

Political Party
: Republican

Writings: A Time to Heal (1979)


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