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A Ford, not a Lincoln Hardcover – 1975
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American Politics & Studies, Political Studies, US Politics, American Presidency
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This book doesn't go into much about that, but it does have some interesting nuggets. Richard Reeves writes, "Gerald Ford was not Richard Nixon's first choice [for VP]. He was his last choice, in more ways than one." Press Secretary Jerald terHorst resigned after Ford pardoned Nixon, and recalled, "We had to keep [Alexander] Haig, he had all the clout in the government. There was business in the pipelines...but we didn't even know where the pipelines were, and Haig made it clear that he'd been running the government for the last eight or ten months of the Nixon presidency." Haig even initialed memos that Ford was supposed to approve.
The good humor aside, you really do get a negative view of the Ford administration. Not necessarily because of what he did, but more because of what remarkably little he did do. The author stretched to detail out much of anything that Ford did except campaign trips and blanket approvals of Nixon policies that still seemed to be generated within the administration. The one nice consistent with this book and about every other book I have read about the Nixon administration is that this author disliked Al Haig. How this guy has rubbed every single person he has met the wrong way I will never know, but he is the poster child for "does not get along with others". Overall the book was full of humor and some interesting facts. It is a quick read and if for some reason you are looking for something on Ford this book will at least give you a smile if nothing else.
These were all tasks difficult to handle and happened in a very strict period of time so that to judge President Ford one should have had - ar least - a stretch of one year. Instead Reeves, who narrates the first 6 months more or less, does not spare his most harsh judgement towards a person that all of a sudden found himself Vice-President and then President.