Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Passings: Gerald Ford, Former President

Expect no grand political analysis from this corner regarding the death of our 38th president, Gerald Ford. I was only a grade-schooler when he led the United States. But that didn't stop me from forming an opinion of him that still holds true today.

Ford's presidency was always overshadowed by Richard Nixon's fall from grace and Jimmy Carter's work as a diplomat. And he surely torpedoed his hopes of re-election by pardoning Nixon. But divorced from the loftiness of his office and the (admittedly not-unjustified) flak he took for giving Tricky Dick a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card, Gerald Ford always seemed like a pretty nice guy for a politician.

He consistently took the jabs of pundits, and Chevy Chase's slapschticky SNL pseudo-impersonation, in stride (the thumbsucking hick bully currently in office should be such a good sport). So when Ford ran for re-election it wasn't a surprise that humor played a role. Even with that caveat in mind, it's hard to believe that Gerald Ford's camp was prepared to let this out for public display (his defeat in the 1976 election 86'ed the poster's wide distribution). That he actually authorized this makes me respect the guy even more.

I should plug the source for this image, an enterprising Ebay-er who's selling this surreal piece of pop-political arcana for a measly $1200 plus shipping. Hell, if I had the extra bones I'd seriously think about it.

Very best of luck holding office in the great White House in the Sky, Mr. President. As The Fonz once intoned, thumbs extended: Ayyyy.

(Thanks to Bob Coddington for informing me of this fine poster's existance in the first place.)

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