Remembering Gerald Ford

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in History

I found this insider’s perspective on the “accidental President” over at Hotline On Call. It’s honest, poignant and revealing….

John Deardourff and I prepared the general election advertising for President Ford in 1976. It was the easiest job we ever had.

Imagine the luxury of a political consultant whose client (1) is President of the United States but had never run for anything bigger than a congressional district in Grand Rapids – and (2) is an honest, candid, simple, straight-forward, believable guy.

America had a president it didn’t know, so our job was to introduce the people to their president, his wife, their children – who they were, where they came from, what they were like. And to do so in a compelling way, all we really had to do was part the curtains and let Jerry Ford be Jerry Ford. He would never have allowed us to make him be anyone else anyway. He was who he was.

Some found him less than a scintillating intellect, even though he knew more about how government works (and the budget, for example) than any president before or since.

But all found him authentic. You watched him and listened to him and you felt you knew the man. He was the anti-Nixon. He inspired the confidence that you knew him. And I can assure you he was exactly the same man with the camera on or off. For good or bad, what you saw was what you got. And after Nixon, that was a treat.

And this is a refreshing thought…

Maybe it’s time we go looking again for another president who doesn’t crave the job!

Maybe…but we’re not going to get it. Not unless somebody finds themselves in a position like Ford, which is unlikely in this day and age.

Still, stranger things have happened…


This entry was posted on Sunday, December 31st, 2006 and is filed under History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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