Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gerry Ford


Is now officially the oldest ever President of the United States, having overtaken Reagan. My own impression of Gerry Ford is based almost entirely on nasty little cracks about his dumbness ('played too much football without a helmet', 'couldn't fart and chew gum at the same time' etc) with a side prize going to his cameo on on of the finest Simpsons episodes ever ('do you like football? do you like pretzels?').

In light of this article, however, I might just change my tune...

Oh, and Ford is also good for two (related) quiz questions:

1. Who are the only two U.S Presidents never to be elected to office; and
2. Who are the only three Presidents to become President without winning the popular vote

People answering GW Bush to the first will have points deducted.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mr Eugenides said...

I was also unaware that he had survived two assassination attempts until it came up, would you believe, in a quiz question at my local last night.

Spending life in prison for trying to kill Gerald Ford... sheesh.

2:09 pm  
Blogger The Nameless One said...

Ford is the only person who I can think of who ascended to the Presidency of the USA without winning a national election. G H W Bush and Dick Cheney both acted as President whilst still Vice-President, but they were at least elected to the Vice Presidency.

As for people being elected President without winning the popular vote, George W. Bush in 2000 is the obvious - and endlessly quoted - example. You've also got Benjamin Harrison in 1888 and Rutherford Hayes in 1876 both winning the White House without getting more votes than their opponents.

God bless Gerald Ford, but he really is one of history's also-rans. An accidental Vice-President and President, he managed to achieve next to nothing whilst in office. Also he was constantly mocked for his apparent stupidity and crass policies (such as fighting inflation with his WIN! - Whip Inflation Now - badges). He lost a close presidential election to an relatively unknown peanut farmer in 1976 who was later described by The Simpsons as "history's greatest villian". I have no doubt that he is a genial, likeable bloke who tried his best but you would be forgiven for relegating him to a footnote in most Presidential histories.

6:41 pm  

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