President Gerald Ford died last night, at the age of 93. From the Washington Post:
Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., 93, who became the 38th president of the United States as a result of some of the most extraordinary events in U.S. history and sought to restore the nation's confidence in the basic institutions of government, has died. His wife, Betty, reported the death in a statement last night.
"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age," Betty Ford said in a brief statement issued from her husband's office in Rancho Mirage, Calif. "His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country."
I switched on CNN in time to watch our current President describe Mr. Ford in glowing terms, as a decent man, an honorable man who served his country and helped us through trying times. His words were sincere, but incomplete. The analysts will no doubt fill in the rest, and the nation's media are already saying "he saved a nation," and quoting that famous speech in which Ford, newly sworn in as President following the resignation of Richard Nixon, proclaimed, "Our long national nightmare is over."
But it wasn't. Nixon left in disgrace, but Cheney and Rumsfeld were in the wings. And they would return. We needed one more statement from Mr. Ford, but now he is dead.
Rest in peace, Gerald Ford. Our condolences and best wishes to the family.