Ford was an accidental president. A Michigan Republican elected to Congress 13 times before becoming the first appointed vice president in 1973 after Spiro Agnew left amid scandal, Ford was Nixon's hand-picked successor, a man of much political experience who had never run on a national ticket. He was as open and straightforward as Nixon was tightly controlled and conspiratorial.
He took office moments after Nixon resigned in disgrace over Watergate.
"My fellow Americans," Ford said, "our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works. Our great republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule."
Betsy Newmark on Ford as uniter, not divider.
"In working with him every day, it struck me that whatever the circumstance, whatever the political temperature, whatever the challenge of the moment, I was always dealing fundamentally with the same man."
Mark Tapscott rounds up debate over the pardon.
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.
Michelle has photos of the two assassination attempts.