Thoughts About Gerald R. Ford

If you haven’t heard the news or have been living in a bubble, Gerald R. Ford died on December 26, 2006, at his home in Rancho Mirage, California. Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (July 14, 1913–December 26, 2006) was the 38th President (1974–1977) and the 40th Vice President of the United States (1973–1974).

Mr. Gerald R. Ford was the first person appointed to the Vice Presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment. He became the only president in United States history to fill the presidential office without having been elected either President or Vice President by the people through the “normal” democratic process. Gerald R. Ford was the longest-lived United States president, having surpassed Ronald Reagan’s record on November 12, 2006.

President George W. Bush today, December 27, 2006, issued the following press release about the death of Gerald R. Ford:

Prairie Chapel Ranch
Crawford, Texas
6:56 A.M. CST

THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans, all of us are saddened by the news that former President Gerald R. Ford passed away last night. I spoke with Betty Ford. On behalf of all Americans Laura and I extend to Mrs. Ford and all President Ford’s family our prayers and our condolences.

President Ford was a great man who devoted the best years of his life in serving the United States. He was a true gentleman who reflected the best in America’s character. Before the world knew his name, he served with distinction in the United States Navy and in the United States Congress.

As a congressman from Michigan, and then as Vice President, he commanded the respect and earned the good will of all who had the privilege of knowing him. On August 9, 1974, he stepped into the presidency without ever having sought the office. He assumed power in a period of great division and turmoil. For a nation that needed healing and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when we needed him most.

During his time in office, the American people came to know President Ford as a man of complete integrity who led our country with common sense and kind instincts.

Americans will always admire Gerald Ford’s unflinching performance of duty and the honorable conduct of his administration, and the great rectitude of the man himself.

We mourn the loss of such a leader, and our 38th President will always have a special place in our nation’s memory.

President Ford lived 93 years, and his life was a blessing to America. And now this fine man will be taken to his rest by a family that will love him always, and by a nation that will be grateful to him forever.

May god bless Gerald Ford.

The blogosphere has been buzzing today, December 27, 2006, about the death of Gerald R. Ford. Michelle Malkin has several links on her blog entry that points to the official White House Gerald R. Ford bio, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum page, and an Associated Press dispatch:

Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon’s scandal-shattered White House as the 38th and only unelected president in America’s history, has died, his wife said. He was 93.
Details on his death Tuesday were not immediately available.

Ford had been fitted in August at the Mayo Clinic with an implantable cardiac pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat after he had been admitted to a Colorado Clini days earlier for tests.

In January 2006, he was hospitalized for 12 days in Rancho Mirage, Calif., for pneumonia. Then in July, Ford spent a few days in Colorado’s Vail Valley Medical Center because of shortness of breath.

Ford became the nation’s oldest living former president after the death of Ronald Reagan in 2004.

Hot airalso talks about Gerald R. Ford:

By all accounts he was a decent and genuine man. He survived two assassination attempts and relentless mocking by Chevy Chase, who portrayed him as hopelessly clumsy (even though he was quite athletic and a college football star).

Plus the dude smoked a pipe. That’s a stone cold mack-daddy Prez, there.

As Ford approached his ninetieth year, he began to experience significant health problems associated with old age. He suffered two minor strokes at the 2000 Republican National Convention, but made a quick recovery. In January 2006, he spent 11 days at the Eisenhower Medical Center near his residence at Rancho Mirage, California, for treatment of pneumonia.

On April 23, 2006 President George W. Bush visited former President Ford at his home in Rancho Mirage for a little over an hour. While vacationing in Vail, Colorado, he was hospitalized for two days in July 2006 for shortness of breath. On August 15, 2006 Ford was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for “testing and evaluation”. On August 21, it was reported that he had been fitted with a pacemaker.

On August 25, he underwent an angioplasty procedure at the Mayo Clinic, according to a statement from an assistant to Ford. On August 28, Ford was released from the hospital and returned with his wife Betty to their California home. On October 12, however, Ford entered the hospital yet again for undisclosed tests at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, he was released on October 16.

As a result of his frail health it was announced on October 17 that Ford was considering selling his home near Vail, Colorado due to the uncertainty as to whether he would be able to return.

God Bless Gerald R. Ford.

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