Sunday, January 22, 2006

President Gerald Ford Illness - Pneumonia

Former President Gerald Ford is still recovering in a California hospital from pneumonia. Doctors at the Eisenhower Medical Center say the president's condition is improving each day. I've been thinking about President Ford today and remembering back to when I first heard his name in politics.

In some ways, President Ford would have never been a world leader if it were not for the criminal activities of former Vice-President Spiro Agnew and former President Richard Nixon. So many unremarkable people have been pushed into prominent leadership positions because of the wrong doing of others. Just look at what happened to Dennis Hassert after Newt Gingrich got into trouble as Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

What I remember the most about the presidency of Gerald Ford is his constant mishaps with stairs. He seemed to always be slipping on them and a few times he slipped down the exit stairs of Air Force One. There were no cable news networks back when he was President of the United States, so those classic, slip and fall, scenes were not repeated over and over again for days. Also, late night comedians were a little more respectful back then than they are today.

All hope that history would remember President Ford fondly ended the day he pardoned President Nixon for wrong doing during the "Watergate" fiasco. There is no doubt that his decision to pardon Nixon, did benefit the country by allowing everyone to start focusing on the future, again. However, that decision pretty much ruined any chance for President Ford to get important legislation through Congress or get elected to the office of president.

I would call President Ford a good "transition" person that helped move the country from one bad administration to the next and folks that have to play this role never get the full credit they deserve. When Gerald Ford served in the White House, the country was still very angry at President Nixon and how he misused the trust the American people placed in him, twice as their president. Also, the Nixon administration forever changed the way the America people look at and trust the President of the United States.

President Ford is a fine and decent man and I hope he recovers soon and is able to go home and be with his family.

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