A Ford, Not a Lincoln


President Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006)

President Gerald R. Ford was well aware of the unique circumstances that propelled him to the most powerful office in the world. Appointed as Vice President upon the resignation of Spiro T. Agnew, he served in that capacity for little more than eight months before Richard Nixon’s resignation made Ford into the 38th President of the United States and the only one not elected to either the Presidency or Vice Presidency.

In one of his first speeches as President, Ford addressed the graduates of Ohio State University, and said, “So much has happened in the few months since you were so very kind to ask me to participate on this occasion. I was then America’s first instant Vice President, and now, America’s first instant President. The United States Marine Band is so confused they don’t know whether to play ‘Hail to the Chief’ or ‘You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.'” (source)

He was also very much aware of the fact that he was not the most eloquent of men to occupy the Oval Office. Drawing on his Michigan roots, the center of the motor industry, he said, “I’m a Ford, not a Lincoln.” (source)

For another example of Gerald Ford’s down-to-earth humility, see this post.

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