Former President Gerald Ford is dead at 93. Ford had the unenviable task of being chosen by Richard Nixon to be Vice President after Spiro Agnew was forced to resign in disgrace. Then, when it was Nixon's turn to resign in disgrace, Ford stepped in as President. "Our long national nightmare is over," he said. But then a month later he pardoned Nixon and probably sealed his fate as a two-year President. At the time it was highly controversial; now it is generally agreed that it was the right thing to do so the country could move on.
I was just becoming politically aware and active during these years. I had an aunt who worked in the White House for Nixon and Ford and who fed me lots of Republican memorabilia and propaganda. But I was already "lost" to the other side and did my first political campaigning on behalf of Jimmy Carter.
Ford, like Nixon, was considered a right-wing conservative in his day. But in today's Republican party they would be seen as left-leaning moderates. Ford and his wife Betty were vocal supporters of a pro-choice stance for women and of gay marriage.
Let us offer prayers of thanks for his service to our country and prayers of support for his family as they grieve his death.