Former President Gerald Ford dies at 93
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Former President Gerald R. Ford, who declared "Our long national nightmare is over" as he replaced Richard Nixon but may have doomed his own chances of election by pardoning his disgraced predecessor, has died. He was 93.
The nation's 38th president, and the only one neither elected to the office nor the vice presidency, died at his desert home at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.
"His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country," his wife, Betty, said in a statement.
Ford was the longest living former president, surpassing Ronald Reagan, who died in June 2004, by more than a month.
Ford's office did not release the cause of death, which followed a year of medical problems. He was treated for pneumonia in January and had an angioplasty and pacemaker implant in August.
Funeral arrangements were to be announced Wednesday.
"President Ford was a great man who devoted the best years of his life in serving the United States," President Bush said in a brief statement to the nation Wednesday morning. "He was a true gentleman who reflected the best in America's character."
Like most Republican leaders, Gerald Ford was the butt of many jokes (especially by Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live), focusing on his supposed lack of intelligence and inability to walk & chew gum at the same time. It's likely that such barbs played some part in his defeat to Jimmah Carter (History's Greatest Monster).
TigerHawk picked up this item from the AP's reporting:
We were more concerned with propriety [then] than we are today, and Jerry Ford reflected that. I was struck by this bit from the A.P.'s obituary:In office, Ford's living tastes were modest. When he became vice president, he chose to remain in the same Alexandria, Va., home — unpretentious except for a swimming pool — that he shared with his family as a congressman.
After leaving the White House, however, he took up residence in the desert resort of Rancho Mirage, picked up $1 million for his memoir and another $1 million in a five-year NBC television contract, and served on a number of corporate boards. By 1987, he was on eight such boards, at fees up to $30,000 a year, and was consulting for others, at fees up to $100,000. After criticism, he cut back on such activity.
Even adjusting for inflation, Ford's post-office income was a tiny fraction of Bill Clinton's, yet there has been almost no criticism of Clinton and he certainly has not "cut back" in response to such criticism that there has been.
It is almost enough to make one nostalgic for the 1970s.
That's crazy talk about being nostalgic for the 70s, but I get his point....
Michelle Malkin also has a good roundup.
Gerald Ford - Rest In Peace.
Note to Readers: Sorry for the hiatus... Christmas with a 4 year old and a 1 year old will play havoc on you and does not allow for time to think and blog. But, I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!
Later this week: 2007 Predictions from the Conspirators here.... and grades for last years' predictions!
ARC: St Wendeler