The Character of President Ford
Feb 20, 1995
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In the fifth of of ten “Character Above All” lectures examining the character and leadership of presidents of the past 50 years, historian James Cannon discussed the life and presidency of Gerald .. Read More
In the fifth of of ten “Character Above All” lectures examining the character and leadership of presidents of the past 50 years, historian James Cannon discussed the life and presidency of Gerald Ford. Mr. Cannon was chief of staff to former Senator Howard Baker (D-TN). He described President Ford as a “good and honest man, a workhorse of a congressman” who, as an unelected president, stepped into the breach in one of the darkest periods of U.S. history. The controversial presidential pardon of former President Nixon, which President Ford justified as “best for the country,” was an example of his “courage to do what is right regardless of the political consequences.” President Ford’s worst moment was the U.S. loss in the Vietnam War and the withdrawal from Saigon, and one of his best was signing the Helsinki Agreement against strong opposition. Cannon said that President Ford “restored the integrity of the presidency by the example of his own honesty and forthrightness.” Following his prepared remarks, Mr. Cannon took questions from the audience. Mr. Cannon is the author of Time and Chance: Gerald Ford’s Appointment with History.