By Madison Eatwell, pd.1 ,3/1/14
Gerald Ford Jr. was born in the largest city of Nebraska, Omaha to the proud parents of Leslie and Dorothy King. What many do not know about Gerald Ford is that his name was not his actual name at birth. His first name was Leslie Lynch King, but was soon changed to Gerald Ford when he was adopted by Gerald Ford Sr. who his mother remarried after she divorced in 1915. He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and later graduated from University of Michigan. He than earned his law degree from Yale and than joined the Michigan Bar in 1941. Barely starting his career, the incident known as Pearl Harbor occurred and soon World War Two was calling the American Men to duty. Serving as a gunnery officer and assistant navigator in the Navy, he was soon back from the war in 1946. He than later married a women named Elizabeth Bloomer Warren and continued his job in law. He had four kids. Gerald to have a interest in politics in 1948 and soon seek a career in them. He was vice president 1973 to 1974. Upon Nixon's resignation, he was then the 38th president. His presidency was the shortest presidency who did not die in office, but he lived the longest out of the presidents. Gerald Ford died in December the day after Christmas in 2006.
Gerald Ford was working at a large law firm in Grand Rapids before he started his career in politics. He beat and won the fifth seat congressional Michigan seat. This was where he was appointed to the Public Works Committee. He moved up in ranks so much that in 1961 he was assigned to be a member (minority) of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He was a supported of Dwight D. Eisenhower, but he also was a strong supporter and friend of vice president Richard Nixon. He fought to make sure that Nixon remained in his position and nominated him in his quest for president. He was named chair House Republican Conference in 1963. This was a huge position to be in at the time. After Kennedy's assassination he published a book, Portrait of an Assassin, to explain to the public of he suspected Lee Harvey Oswald worked alone in the assassination. When Nixon became president, he was an adamant support. Later he tried to impeach Justice William O. Douglas for the Parvin Foundation (which he believed was connected to organized crime). It was unsuccessful. Finally, when vice president Spiro Agnew resigned Nixon named Gerald the new vice president. I believed that when Gerald made connections and then made friends with Nixon, this made sure he was to move up in the ranks and into important positions. Its kinda "if you have my back i got yours" relationship with Nixon.
Gerald was not only the first person to be appointed vice president under the 25th amendment, but he was also the first person to serve as vice president and president without being elected. The Watergate scandal had Nixon resigning, allowing Gerald Ford to take the president's seat. Though he defend Nixon throughout the scandal before he became president. He selected Nelson Rockefeller as his vice president and also, though to many unsuprise, kept Nixon's cabinet members too. I guess it was also no surprise to all when he also granted Nixon a full pardon for the Watergate scandal. As president he worked a lot with foreign policy and curbed inflation and lowered deficits since he had to deal with economic depression. (The worst one since the Great Depression!) President Gerald had two assassination attempts on him during his presidency and when he tried to campaign for president again in 1976, he was beaten by the Democrat Jimmy Carter.
After his presidency he concentrated on business and did some work for the Republican Party.
Members of their Cabinet
- secretary of state- Henry A. Kissinger
- secretary of treasury- William E. Simon
- secretary of defense- James R. Schlesinger, Donald H. Rumsfeld
- attorney general- William B. Saxbe, Edward H. Levi
- secretary of interior- Rogers C.B. Morton, Stanley K. Hathaway, Thomas S. Kleppe
- secretary of agriculture- Earl L. Butz, John A. Knebel
- Fredrick B. Dent, Elliot L. Richardson, and Roger C.B. Morton
- secretary of labor- Peter J. Brennan, John T, Dunlop, and W. J. Usery Jr.
- secretary of health, education and welfare- Caspar W. Weinberger, F. David Matthews
- secretary of housing and urban development- James T. Lynn, Carla A. Hills
- Claude S. Brinegar, William T. Coleman Jr.
- vice president- Nelson Rockefeller
- white house chief of staff- Alexander M. Haig Jr., Donald H. Rumsfeld, Richard B. Cheney
- director of office of management and budget- Roy L. Ash, James T. Lynn
- director of central intelligence- William E. Colby, George H. W. Bush
- administrator of environmental protection agency- Russell E. Train
- special representative for trade negotiations- William D. Eberle
- ambassador to the united states- John A. Scali, Daniel P. Moynihan, William W. Scranton
- signed the Helsinki Accords
- prevented war in the Middle East, by providing aid Israel and Egypt
- officially ended U.S.A involvement in Vietnam war
- created special ed by signing the education for all handicapped children act of 1975
- Whip Inflation Now (WIN) campaign wanting the public to rein in consumption and spending ended badly
- economy did not improve a lot under him
- he pardon Nixon for the Watergate Scandal (could be seen as a good or bad act to the people, some say bad because Nixon destroyed the trust in the people)
WOULD HE BE ELECTABLE TODAY?
I do not think Gerald Ford would be elected if he ran for president today because of several things. One was that he supported Nixon way too much, so much that he pardon him for what the people saw as a crime to America (the Watergate scandal). The Watergate Scandal destroyed the trust in the people and it showed the people that he would side with Nixon than the people of America. Another thing would be is that the economic depression did not improve greatly under him which led to distrust that he can pull through for the people. Usually president's do not get picked again after an economic depression. While he was helpful with foreign policy, "home-wise"he was not helpful at all. The present America would need a president that can help mostly America itself, not just other countries. Also in 1960s, he weakened the civil rights legislation which was later criticized by African American leaders. That would be a pretty defensive thing to do in today's world. He also opposed Medicare and the administrations "war on poverty", which i think was silly thing to do in an economic depression. He should have supported it to show support for the majority of the people who were struggling in the depression.