I was not yet born during Gerald Ford’s time in office. But there was always something about him that made me feel like he was a regular guy, someone who you might not agree with on certain policy matters but someone who you wouldn’t mind grabbing a burger with and having good conversation. His unpopular pardoning of Nixon cost him reelection. He later said, “”The only way to clear the desk in the Oval Office was to get Mr. Nixon’s problems off my agenda and get my total attention on the problems of the country.” That decision prevented a second term but in 2001 he won a John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award for it.
Gerald Ford, in my estimation, marks the last of a breed that the Republican Party of today has slowly expunged from its ranks: a man for whom life was his politics, not the other way around. Someone who could disagree with you yet still manage to be endearing and genuine, a stark contrast to the rancor and venom discourse of recent years.
My sincere condolences to the entire Ford family.
Rest in peace, President Ford.