I am about halfway through a book entitled Write It When I'm Gone by Thomas DeFrank (click on title of blog post for more information). DeFrank was a young Newsweek reporter covering Gerald Ford when he was Vice President. Over the years they developed a friendship. In one conversation prior to Nixon resigning, Ford let slip a statement he did not want made public. He made DeFrank swear he wouldn't print it until he was dead. This began a 30 + year relationship and series of interviews that DeFrank agreed not to publish until Ford had passed on.
The book is very interesting and provides great insight into the thought process behind Nixon's pardon. Ford also speaks candidly about personal impressions of both Presidents that came before and after him. It covers in depth his bitterness toward Ronald Reagan. A bitterness that didn't subside until Reagan announced he was suffering from Alzheimer's.
Something I read today that really stuck with me was his assessment on Hillary Clinton and the possibility of a woman President. In the late 1990's Ford predicted that Hillary would run for President in 2004 or 2008 and that while he believed she would get the nomination he did not believe she would win the election. DeFrank then followed that assessment by asking Ford if he thought we would ever have a female President. Ford's answer could end up being eerily prophetic if McCain and Palin are elected. He said that he felt the first time a woman became President it would be the result of one of the parties picking a female Vice Presidential candidate, getting that ticket elected to office, and then the President would die in office thus making the female VP the new President. He said once that happened that male candidates would be number 2 and that we could expect to see other female Presidents.
Quite interesting that a decade later the scenario is playing out. It is also a possibility that if the Republican party is elected that due to McCain's age he could die in office, making Palin the top dog.
I still have half the book to go, but I have enjoyed learning more about President Ford, both as a President but more importantly as a person. He appeared to be a man of great conviction with a strong moral compass.