How the Nixon Pardon Tore the Ford Administration Apart

My up-close view of Gerald Ford and the decision that overshadowed his legacy.

By Donald Rumsfeld in Politico

When Gerald Ford became president minutes after Richard Nixon’s resignation, Ford surprised many of us with how dramatically different he was in the role than his predecessor, starting with his very first Cabinet meeting.

To Ford, pardoning Nixon was what he believed was the humanitarian—and the Christian—thing to do.

At the White House, “angry calls, heavy and constant” began jamming the switchboards. Throughout the rest of Ford’s presidency, fomented by Nixon critics in the media, where they were thick in number, suspicion about the circumstances surrounding the pardon lingered. A whopping 71 percent polled by Time magazine believed then that Ford may not have told the country the whole truth about the circumstances of the pardon.

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About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Know as a coalition builder, he has participated in election campaigns and legislative efforts in the United States and several other countries.
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