Former President Gerald Ford died yesterday at his home in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 93.
He was the first unelected vice president, having been appointed after the resignation of Spiro Agnew, and he was the first unelected president, taking office upon the resignation of President Richard Nixon. He was also the first president I can remember with true clarity.
I remember Johnson to some extent, and I have vivid memories of some things during the Nixon administration, but I was ten years old when Ford took office and I became a political junkie. I collected the cartoons of Louisville Courier-Journal cartoonist Hugh Haynie -- a harsh critic of Ford's economic policies -- and I have to say that those cartoons probably did more to form my opinion of Ford than anything else. That opinion can be summed up with two Haynie cartoons. One shows Ford in a Boy Scout uniform; the other depicts Mickey Mouse covered in buttons with the acronym "WIN," for Whip Inflation Now, Ford's economic plan.
While he will probably never be remembered as a good president, Ford will always be remembered as a good man. May he rest in peace.