December 27, 2006, - 9:47 am

Keepin’ it Real: The Gerald R. Ford Scorecard–Portrait of a VERY Average (or Below) Prez

By Debbie Schlussel
In the rush to exalt former President Gerald R. Ford on the occasion of his death, let’s keep it real. He was an okay President. An average President, at best.
Here’s the scorecard for President Ford:
* Pardoning President Nixon: Yes, there was never any proof that Nixon knew about the burglary at Watergate. Even liberal former ABC News White House correspondent Sam Donaldson says that. He said he never saw any evidence that Nixon committed a crime. And it’s well known that the Watergate scandal was cooked up by those in Congress–especially the Senate (Senator Sam Ervin, Jr.)–who were upset that President Nixon actually sequester and hold funds meant for a wasteful boondoggle project. The nerve of him. Did we really need to show the world that we wanted to hang our own while we were already hanging ourselves in Vietnam after giving up without a full-fledged fight? Contrary to popular belief, this pardon is NOT what cost Ford the Presidency.


* Staying Alive: Survived two assassination attempts.
* Never Actually Winning Election to the White House: And losing to a peanut farmer from Georgia because Ford denied that there was “Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.” Hello . . . ?

* Squeezing Israel throughout his Presidency, at a time when Israel was the only non-Soviet Allied nation in the Mid-East:
As detailed by our friend, Michael Freund, in the Jerusalem Post, Ford’s policy on Israel was so pan-Islamist that even Jimmy Carter scolded him in the Presidential debate (my, how times have changed):

America stepped in and sought to impose a solution, bringing heavy pressure to bear on Israel to make concessions to the Egyptian aggressors who had launched the previous conflict.
In 1975, U.S. president Gerald Ford threatened a “reassessment” of U.S.-Israel relations, and there was even talk of possible sanctions against the Jewish state.
In the October 6, 1976, U.S. presidential debate Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter blasted the heavy-handed tactics Ford and Kissinger had used, saying, “We almost brought Israel to its knees after the Yom Kippur War by the so-called reassessment of our relationship to Israel. We in effect tried to make Israel the scapegoat for the problems in the Middle East.
“And this weakened our relationship with Israel a great deal and put a cloud on the total commitment that our people feel toward the Israelis.”

* Using his position as a former Republican (RINO) President to push continued affirmative action/reverse racism:
In an August 1999 New York Times op-ed (I wrote this column on it), President Ford wrote a ridiculous defense of affirmative action admissions at both his and my alma mater, the University of Michigan. He said that because, when he played football at Michigan (in the 1930s!!!!), other schools wouldn’t play Michigan (because it had Black players on the team), that we now, in the 21st Century need to continue affirmative action. Huh?
First of all, there isn’t affirmative action in football–especially today, when talent is king and more than 75% of all college football players are Black. Secondly, what does football have to do with college admissions. And last, but not least, how does a President–who never got to the White House on the merits of his own candidacy–tell us that we shan’t be judged on merit, because of something that happened in the 1930s?
This was his last major act in public life–to stand for continued reverse racism in America. Not something to be proud of.
For all of these reasons, President Ford will always be remembered as an average President. He did not do anything outstanding. He did not do anything great. And he paved the way for one of the worst Presidents ever, Jimmy Carter.
But, at least, he served his country well, both in the military and as an elected public servant. And for that, he will always be appreciated.
Gerald R. Ford, Rest in Peace.

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11 Responses

Gerald Ford was a less than average president. He was a Republican who was very happy to be in the minority. He was of the Bob Michael school–the kind of Republican the Dems love. But he was a good man and that’s saying something nowadays.

lexi on December 27, 2006 at 10:37 am

Gerald Ford’s policy toward Israel was so hostile that I openly welcomed Ronald Reagan’s 1976 challenge with open arms and total support for Reagan. Back then, “only right-wing kooks” supported Reagan; or so they said.
Sec. of State Kissinger was sticking it to Israel so bad, Ronald Reagan was certainly worth listening to. I had long liked Ronald Reagan and the more I heard, the more I liked.
I fully supported Ford after the primaries. I have no regrets about that because there simply was, is, and ever will be, no question that he was the better man than Jimmy Carter for the Presidency.
President Ford stepped into the White House during a tough time. He did the best with what he had and we never fully valued his service until his successor, Jimmy Carter tried his hand at being President.

There is NO Santa Claus on December 27, 2006 at 1:12 pm

“Squeezing Israel throughout his Presidency, at a time when Israel was the only non-Soviet Allied nation in the Mid-East: … ”
Do you have ANY idea how much ordnance and arms Mr. Ford stripped from our Combat Arms units in Germany and shipped to Israel? I DO. I was there. And we were not happy that our TOW Missiles and assorted other weapons systems were taken from us and sent to Israel. Maybe y’all don’t know about THAT, eh? How do you guard the Fulda Gap without tank-busting MISSILES ??
Someone needs to do their homework.

Rocketman on December 27, 2006 at 1:13 pm

John Paul Stevens.
John Paul Stevens.
John Paul Stevens.
To me that one Supreme Court appointment, with the chief accomplice chief of staff Donald Rumsfeld no less!!!!, forever trumps any possible good that came from Ford.
No telling how far the USA would have fallen if not for President Ronald Reagan. (I am so glad I was blessed, yes blessed, to visit his grave and presidential library a few months back while on vacation in Southern California).

Jeff_W on December 27, 2006 at 1:51 pm

Ford was a pro Israel congressman who became an anti Israel President, he was a creep. Richard E. Nixon by the way never tried to cut entitlements – he was the last New Deal Liberal President whose domestic policies were extremely liberal. Ford (like people such as George Will) was happy to be in the minority.

Ripper on December 27, 2006 at 2:41 pm

Additional BEST MOVE
Milnes: ìA quarter-century later, does a former American president have any regrets about fighting for Canadaís inclusion in what is now the Group of Eight industrialized nations? Has it been a good thing for Canada, the United States and the world?î
“No doubt about it,” Ford said. “It was important to have somebody other than the United States representing the Western Hemisphere and Trudeau was a first-class member of that elite group.”
In his writings after he left office in 1984, Trudeau agreed with Ford’s present-day assessment.
Trudeau believed Canada’s inclusion in the G-8 summits was among the highlights of his 16 years in office.
“It was Gerald Ford … who was responsible for one of the greatest achievements of Canadian foreign policy,” Trudeau wrote in his memoirs. “They [Ford and Kissinger] felt that I could at least understand the point of view of the Americans, even though I didn’t always share it. So I was invited, and in 1976 Canada was admitted to the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations. For a middle power like Canada, membership in this group is important, so we owe much to Gerald Ford.”
(And remember) Ford never had any ambition to become president.
“I’m a Ford, not a Lincoln,” the new vice-president said at the time, displaying an unassuming style and honesty that was the hallmark of his career in politics.
(Arthur Milnes Vancouver Sun 2001)

The Canadien on December 27, 2006 at 3:52 pm

this article is why debbie is informal on the world scene, you need a radio show debbie keep pushin the subject it will come true on day

PNAMARBLE on December 27, 2006 at 3:57 pm

Gerald R. Ford was everything I would ever expect from a University of Michigan graduate. :+)

There is NO Santa Claus on December 27, 2006 at 5:29 pm

“Gerald R. Ford was everything I would ever expect from a University of Michigan graduate.”
Aaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahaha …

Rocketman on December 28, 2006 at 7:40 am

Mea culpa, Mea culpa …
Yer right. The initial massive arms transfers occurred prior to Gerry assuming the top job. He DID however continue the trend in the amount of $2 BILLION per year in military transfers during his Presidency.
I think I have however discovered Ms. Deb’s problem with President Ford: The POTUS stated that America’s interests transcended those of any other country. This, you’ll recall, was in the face of yet another Arab Oil Embargo. I find it rather odd that anyone would have a problem with an American President putting the best interests of America ahead of all others. Meanwhile, the Israelis wanted LOTS of American cash to pull back from land taken during the 1973 war. Big surprise. Israel had nukes by then – thanks to stealing them from America – and could/should used them and thus accomplished a much bigger goal in both the short and long term.
Gerald Ford HAD to walk a tightrope at that time when dealing with still-friendly Middle East countries. For that, he (and Henry Kissinger) deserves our praise AND thanks.

Rocketman on December 28, 2006 at 9:02 am

You people obviously don’t know much about President Ford or his Presidency and how it could’ve become one of the greatest of the last half of the 20th Century had it not been for a simple little blunder in the debates.

Jim on March 2, 2015 at 8:55 pm

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