In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 29, 2006 / 8 Teves, 5767

Gerald Ford, Cold Warrior

By Michael Barone

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Gerald Ford, 38th president of the United States, has died at age 93. He lived longer than any other American president, just a few months longer than Ronald Reagan. The longest-living previous presidents were John Adams and Herbert Hoover, who both died at 90. Hoover lived for 31 years after leaving office, Ford for 29 years. Hoover and Ford were both defeated by Democrats, but they responded very differently. Hoover bitterly opposed Franklin Roosevelt; Ford became friends with Jimmy Carter. Ford served longer in Congress than any other president: 25 years (it would be 26 years if you counted his year's service as vice president, in which capacity he was president of the Senate, but by the same token that would mean that Lyndon Johnson served 27 years). He was House minority leader from 1965 until he was confirmed as vice president in 1973.

Ford is being remembered as the president who bound up the nation's wounds after the Watergate scandal and the forced resignation of Richard Nixon. He is also being remembered for his pardon of Nixon, which caused his job rating to plummet and seriously damaged his chances of winning a full term in his own right in 1976. But the Republican Party and its presidential nominee were going to be harmed in 1976 by Watergate one way or the other. A Nixon trial — a lively possibility absent the pardon — would have dominated the news in the runup to the election.

I want to focus here on another aspect of Ford's long career: his longstanding support of Cold War policy. In 1948 — 58 years ago! — the 35-year-old Ford challenged incumbent Rep. Bartel J. Jonkman in the Republican primary. Jonkman was an isolationist and an opponent of Harry Truman's Cold War policy. Ford, like Michigan Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, had been an isolationist before World War II but had switched and supported the internationalist policies of Truman. Vandenberg, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1947 and 1948, was the leading Republican providing bipartisan support for Truman; it was surely embarrassing to him that his hometown of Grand Rapids was represented in the House by an isolationist. Ford won that primary and had no difficulty winning the general election in the heavily Republican Fifth District.

In the House, Ford was a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and so was deeply involved in defense budgets for many years. In 1963 President Lyndon Johnson asked him to serve on the Warren Commission, investigating the assassination of John Kennedy; Ford was the last surviving member of the commission (although a key staffer, Arlen Specter, is still active and serving in the Senate). After the Republicans' big defeat in 1964, he was supported by several young Republicans — including future Defense Secretaries Melvin Laird and Donald Rumsfeld — for minority leader and defeated the incumbent, Charles Halleck. He supported both the Johnson and Nixon administrations' Vietnam policy. I can remember sitting in the House gallery in what I think must have been 1973 watching him urge continued funding of the South Vietnamese in impassioned tones and warning of the consequences of a Communist takeover. His side lost, and of course he was president in April 1975 when that last helicopter took off from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon and South Vietnam was abandoned to the Communists.

Donate to JWR

Almost alone among our presidents, Ford had no ambition at all to be president; in 1973 he was apparently on the verge of retiring from the House. Instead, after the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, he became vice president. This was the first use of the 25th Amendment, the work of Democratic Sen. Birch Bayh, which provided that vacancies in the vice presidency could be filled by presidential nomination and majority approval of both houses of Congress. (Before the 25th Amendment, the vice presidency was vacant for many years: 1812-13, 1832-33, 1841-45, 1850-53, 1853-57, 1865-69, 1881-85, 1899-1901, 1901-05, 1912-13, 1923-25, 1945-49, 1963-65.) Richard Nixon's first choice was John Connally, his treasury secretary during part of his first term and still nominally a Democrat; but Connally seemed unlikely to be confirmed and Ford, who seemed sure to win confirmation, was chosen. Then, when Nixon resigned in August 1974, Ford became president. Today commentators often talk of the Cold War as a time when Americans were united on foreign policy. But that's only really true of the first half of the Cold War, roughly from 1947 to 1967. For the second half, until the fall of the Berlin Wall, there were sharp differences over foreign policy. Ford, who provided steady support for our Cold War policy during the first half, continued to do so in the second half. He was criticized by some Republicans, including Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms, for continuing Nixon's détente with the Soviet Union and for backing the Panama Canal Treaty. But the Helsinki Accords, which he was criticized for accepting, included a "Human Rights Basket" that helped to delegitimize Soviet rule in the 1980s. It turned out to be an important contribution to victory. And Ford's statement in his 1976 debate with Jimmy Carter — "I don't believe the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union" — which seemed like an unexplainable gaffe at the time, turned out to be prophetic in its own way.

I had one chance to have an extended conversation with President Ford, at a conference at Cantigny, the estate of Col. Robert McCormick, the longtime Chicago Tribune publisher, about 10 years ago. Ford noted that he had never been to Cantigny before, not surprisingly since McCormick was a strong isolationist and therefore a strong opponent of the stands that Ford took in the 1948 primary and afterward. Ford was not a smooth talker; like George W. Bush (and Edward Kennedy and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, to give two Democratic examples), he mangled syntax and sentence structure. But as I listened to him reflect on issues and events long in the past, it was apparent to me that, well into his 80s, he had a sure command of the facts and of the arguments on all sides of the issues. He gained a reputation as president for being clumsy and dumb. In fact, he was a graceful athlete (perhaps the best athlete of any president) and a smart man who worked hard and who was prepared for a challenge that he never sought.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

The New Americans  

Now, more than ever, the melting pot must be used to keep America great. Barone attacks multiculturalism and anti-American apologists--but he also rejects proposals for building a wall to keep immigrants out, or rounding up millions of illegals to send back home. Rather, the melting pot must be allowed to work (as it has for centuries) to teach new Americans the values, history, and unique spirit of America so they, too, can enjoy the American dream.. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.

Michael Barone Archives

© 2006, US News & World Report