January 2, 2007


Congress tries Ford's way: The late president's emphasis on compromise is recalled as the 110th Congress is set to convene. (Gail Russell Chaddock, 1/03/07, The Christian Science Monitor)

Best known for telling Watergate-era Americans that their "long national nightmare is over," he is also remembered on Capitol Hill for a 2001 speech he delivered in the Old Senate Chamber. Former Senate colleagues, who invited him to speak on leadership, still talk about it.

"We might question the other side's ideas, but never its motives or its patriotism," Mr. Ford told the senators, then gridlocked in a 50-50 split. "A few mistake the clash of ideas for a holy war."

Ford revisionism (Henry Payne, 1/01/07, Detroit News)
Presidential deaths are irresistible opportunities for historic revisionism as pundits and politicos peer back at the past through the lens of the present. The fashionable spin on Gerald Ford's presidency is that he represented a golden age of non-partisanship that is extinct in today's Washington.

"It was a time in our country where there was a great emphasis on the institution rather than promoting a partisan agenda," sighs Corwin Smidt of Calvin College.

"One way (to honor the late president) is to return the Gerald Ford quality of civility to the nation's capital," mused the ever insincere Sen. Carl Levin, one of today's most partisan partisans.

Don't believe a word of it.

Ford's tenure in the White House spanned a vicious period of partisanship in the nation's capital. Faced with liberal Democratic dominance of both houses of Congress, Ford exercised his veto a remarkable 66 times in two years - 23 more times than Nixon before him and over twice as many as Carter after him. Before taking office, Ford had ripped the impeachment process as the work of "extreme partisans" trying to "crush the president" as an excuse to increase the Democratic majority.

...is that he was the last president to wear a full beard.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 2, 2007 6:01 PM

Benjamin Harrison was the last fully bearded President.

Posted by: Dave W at January 3, 2007 10:17 AM