Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Death of Gerald Ford

While Gerald Ford will never be the most memorable of US Presidents and did not make a significant impact, he nevertheless took over at a time when the US was in turmoil following Watergate and the huge economic difficulties of the seventies.

In pardoning Richard Nixon for his actions over Watergate, he cast a shadow over his presidency and many held that against him. While I believe Richard Nixon should have been answerable for his actions, it did bring to a close the Watergate scandal and allowed Richard Nixon to eventually rehabilitate himself in public life.

Although he had come to the Presidency by accident, he was nearly re-elected in 1976 and came within a whisker of retaining the Presidency. If he had been a better campaigner and had not been overshadowed by Watergate, he may have beaten Jimmy Carter who was a disaster as President.

Gerald Ford was also the last of the old style Republicans before the arrival of Ronald Reagan and the subsequent take over of the Republicans by neo-conservatives. If he had won in 1976, the whole course of history would probably have changed and we would probably not have seen Ronald Reagan become president, still it is another what if and the course of history turned out that way.


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