December 31, 2006

VOTING WITH THEIR FEET:

At the Capitol, VIP Roll Call Has Many No-Shows (Dana Milbank, 12/31/06, Washington Post)

Everything was in place for Gerald R. Ford's state funeral last night -- everything, that is, but the statesmen.

President Bush sent his regrets; he was cutting cedar and riding his bike on his ranch in Texas. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his deputy, Richard Durbin, couldn't make it, either; they were on a trip to visit Incan ruins. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a pass, too -- as did nearly 500 of the 535 members of Congress.

A 6-to-3 majority of the Supreme Court, including Ford's appointee, John Paul Stevens, ruled against attending. All the nation's governors were invited; few, if any, came. Apparently only two Cabinet members -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez -- accepted the invite.

Congressional staffers and Ford family representatives scrambled to find sufficient greeters and honorary pallbearers to join Vice President Cheney and a score of former lawmakers and Ford administration officials. Organizers had to scratch one name they had circulated Friday as a pallbearer: Elford Albin Cederberg, the former Republican congressman from Michigan, died eight months ago.

Waiting in the Capitol crypt -- the holding place for lawmakers attending the rites for Ford -- Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) noted the absence of a quorum. There were only eight congressmen in the room, and a couple of them were watching the Texas-Iowa football game. "What's the score?" one called out.


Nice tribute that no one actually believes in is one thing, but at the end of the day, a cipher is just a cipher.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 31, 2006 10:04 AM
Comments

It's probably too late for this, but it seems to me the Ford family should've opted for a private funeral. Much like Nixon's family did.

Posted by: Brad S at December 31, 2006 4:02 PM

Ford was never elected as either President or Vice-President. He was never more than a place holder, and he diminished himself when he ran for re-election as President after he promised he wouldn't (when he was appointed VP).

Posted by: ray at December 31, 2006 4:14 PM
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