Nerves of Steel

I think I  had mentioned Gerald Ford in my last Post, well, for those of you who like Gerry, guess what I’m going to talk about him again. I was recently going through some old Presidential Archives (ok it was YouTube, just sounded better!) and I saw a video of the 1976 Presidential debate between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. This was a very fascinating year, in light of the resignation of the sitting President Richard Nixon, Watergate, and Ford’s subsequent takeover.

Old Gerry sure had a lot of pressure on him in 1976, I could only imagine what might have been going through his mind at the time. (Probably, get me out of here!) But whatever pressure he may have felt at the time, I have to hand it to Ford, most of the time he concealed it and maintained an absolutely calm (if not flat) composure.

While Jimmy Carter went on for ten minutes pulling up all the reasons in the world how he could balance the budget by fiscal year 1981. Gerald Ford stood resolute, with a look in his eye’s like, (this guy is stupid, if he was on the football field I would tackle him!) Then when he was later questioned about the most controversial point of his short two year presidency, the pardon of Richard Nixon, he explained calmly and clearly that he felt that pardoning Richard Nixon was the only way to heal a divisive country.

After watching this debate clip I came away with a new respect for Gerald Ford. Even though fate had made it nearly impossible to win, he went out with class. Jimmy Carter in a lot of ways was extremely lucky to run for president the year he did, he could have said just about anything and still had a good chance of being elected, the animosity for the previous party at that time was incredible, and this debate clip gives testament to that.