1973: The day that Gerald Ford became VP

Sadly, President Ford has been lost between all of the controversies and stories of the last 50 years. 

Most Americans do not remember him, a sad commentary about our knowledge of US history. In a recent Gallup, he ranks down the list with only 16% rating him as above average

Again, that's a sad commentary! 

I would give President Ford very high marks.  It's hard to exaggerate the role he played in restoring the integrity of the vice presidency and presidency when he followed President Nixon.

40 years ago, Gerald Ford became Vice President of the US following the resignation of VP Agnew.   His story is very different than those of the other Vice Presidents who've become President, such as Bush 41 or Nixon or LBJ.

David Shribman wrote an article over the weekend reminding us of just how fortunate we were that Gerald Ford was the man who assumed the office:

"He was the first vice president to move to the post under the 25th amendment, which provides for a president to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency and for that nominee to be confirmed by a majority vote of both houses of Congress. Only Ford and his own vice president, Nelson A. Rockefeller, have become vice president by that route.   

Ford -- "A Norman Rockwell painting come to life," in the words of George H.W. Bush at Ford's funeral -- was also the first president to gain the office without a direct vote of the people, a condition he noted in his very first address as chief executive when he asked Americans to "confirm me as your president with your prayers."  Ford became vice president at the height of perhaps the greatest constitutional crisis of American history.

President Richard M. Nixon was on the defensive about Watergate, his impeachment not just possible but likely, his vice president, Spiro T. Agnew, having already resigned amid corruption charges. The country was reeling, Washington was in upheaval. The nation needed a vice president but even more it needed a sense of stability."

Put me down as one of those who believes that President Ford was a great president.  He did not fight a war or deal with an economic depression.  He did restore the presidency and that's no small achievement.

As President Carter said after taking the presidential oath:    

"For myself and for our Nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.."

Yes, we should all thank President Ford for healing the nation.  It was no small task.

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.