A Ford, Not A Lincoln

I always like the line Vice-President Ford used on himself. This is my favorite eulogy so far. This is my favorite photo (from ninme's friend Bubblehead). And Ford's address upon taking the oath of office is worth reading. It's short, it tells you his character, and it suggests a few things about the changes in the country since the 70s too. Every President since has been more publicly religious than Ford, yet I can't recall a more overtly religious speech (the close deliberately echoes Gettysburg, obviously). Nor can I remember any President since praising the Constitution or pledging to uphold it (outside his oath of office) in a speech.

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy.

As we bind up the internal wounds of Watergate, more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars, let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate.

In the beginning, I asked you to pray for me. Before closing, I ask again your prayers, for Richard Nixon and for his family. May our former President, who brought peace to millions, find it for himself. May God bless and comfort his wonderful wife and daughters, whose love and loyalty will forever be a shining legacy to all who bear the lonely burdens of the White House. I can only guess at those burdens, although I have witnessed at close hand the tragedies that befell three Presidents and the lesser trials of others.

With all the strength and all the good sense I have gained from life, with all the confidence my family, my friends, and my dedicated staff impart to me, and with the good will of countless Americans I have encountered in recent visits to 40 States, I now solemnly reaffirm my promise I made to you last December 6: to uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and to do the very best I can for America.
God helping me, I will not let you down.