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 December 2, 2013/ 29 Kislev, 5774

Gerald Ford remains underappreciated

By David Shribman

JewishWorldReview.com | GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- We reach an American landmark on Friday that will be noted by few and celebrated by none. It is the 40th anniversary of the confirmation of Gerald R. Ford as vice president.

On the surface there’s little reason to mark the ascension of anyone to a position that John Adams, the first man to occupy the vice presidency, described with some accuracy as “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived.” There have been 47 vice presidents and it would be surprising if you could name a quarter of them.

There’s even less reason to note this occasion for a man such as Ford, one of 14 vice presidents to become president. For those who ascended, their most significant moments were in the White House, not in the humble vice-presidential cubby holes where presidents tucked them away so they wouldn’t be a nuisance.

That said, the vice presidency and presidency of Gerald Ford stand apart.

He was the first vice president to move to the post under the 25th amendment, which provides for a president to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency and for that nominee to be confirmed by a majority vote of both houses of Congress. Only Ford and his own vice president, Nelson A. Rockefeller, have become vice president by that route.

Ford — “A Norman Rockwell painting come to life,” in the words of George H.W. Bush at Ford’s funeral — was also the first president to gain the office without a direct vote of the people, a condition he noted in his very first address as chief executive when he asked Americans to “confirm me as your president with your prayers.”

Ford became vice president at the height of perhaps the greatest constitutional crisis of American history. President Richard M. Nixon was on the defensive about Watergate, his impeachment not just possible but likely, his vice president, Spiro T. Agnew, having already resigned amid corruption charges. The country was reeling, Washington was in upheaval. The nation needed a vice president but even more it needed a sense of stability.

On Oct. 12, 1973, the telephone rang in the Ford home in Alexandria, Va. “Dad,” said Susan Ford, then 16, “the White House is calling.” Two hours later Ford was at the executive mansion for the nationally televised announcement of his nomination as vice president.

None of this was entirely a surprise. Ford, then the House minority leader, had been asked to collect names of possible vice presidents from House members. The final tally was kept by Rose Mary Woods, Nixon’s executive assistant. Ford got 80 votes. The next closest was Rockefeller, with 35. Nixon knew Ford, the two having met on the Michigan congressman’s first day in Washington in 1949. And Nixon was comfortable with him, though the broader situation, without precedent in American history, was one of immense discomfort for both men.

“Ford was chosen because he was confirmable,” says Joel Goldstein, a St. Louis University Law School expert on the vice presidency. “But he set a high standard for the vice presidency.”

The evening Ford was introduced as the president’s selection, Nixon described the next vice president as someone who had served 25 years with distinction. Everyone in the East Room — Washington’s grandees, with a decidedly Republican tint — knew by mid-sentence who that was. Every member of the crowd stood and cheered.

The very next day Rep. Gerald R. Ford of Michigan’s fifth congressional district marched for the 25th time in the Red Flannel Day parade in Cedar Springs, Mich.

The vice-presidential confirmation hearings were pro forma — but no breeze. Sen. Claiborne Pell, the Rhode Island Democrat, asked if congressional leaders would have ready access to the new vice president. “I’ve had an open-door policy as minority leader,” Ford said. He was asked whether he thought Nixon would survive. “I think so,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of help from a lot of people.”

In truth, Ford dreaded what might happen, and he understood that if he succeeded Nixon he would have to deal with more than simply the fallout of Watergate. There was an economic crisis, continued conflict in Vietnam, uncertainty overseas, a lack of public trust in government.

Early in August 1974, White House chief of staff Alexander M. Haig called Ford and asked if he were ready “to assume the presidency in a short period of time.” Ford’s answer: “If it happens, Al, I am prepared.”

A week later in the Oval Office, Nixon told Ford: “Jerry, you will become president. I know you will do a good job.”

Ford answered: “Mr. President, you know I am saddened by this circumstance. You know I would have wished it to be otherwise. I was hoping you could continue. Under the circumstances I think your decision [to resign] is the right one.”

He added: “I am ready to do the job, and I think I am fully qualified to do it.”

The meeting between Nixon and Ford lasted one hour and 10 minutes. It was agonizing. Ford just wanted to be out of that room, away from the awkwardness that had overwhelmed both men. The silence of the car awaiting him outside the White House provided a great refuge.

In his first days as president, Ford displayed perfect pitch. “I have not campaigned either for the presidency or the vice presidency,” he said upon taking office. “I am indebted to no man and only to one woman — my dear wife — as I begin this very difficult job.”

Later, the pardon of Nixon took some of the luster off the new president, though many historians now believe Ford was right to rid himself and the presidency of such a monumental distraction. Even so, his was a presidency where routine ruled, which, given the circumstances, was a substantial achievement. His accomplishments, former newsman and Ford domestic policy adviser James Cannon wrote in a biography published last spring, were “methodically achieved by steadiness and common sense.”

It was the lack of drama that marked Ford’s life and his administration. Seldom has routine been so remarkable. In history’s mirror, Ford’s presidency is bigger than it appeared at the time.


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David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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