Fare Thee Well, President Ford
I was 18. And I am quite sure that in part, I cast my vote because of the fatherly image Gerald Ford projected. To my eyes, he appeared to be calm, sure, strong, and paternal without patronizing. Ford spent 25 years in Congress and had built a reputation for honesty and integrity - rare commodities in the Nixon White House and characteristics the nation sorely needed in the aftermath of Watergate. And he had worked hard to help the country heal from the shock and disgust of Watergate. Some may have thought it wrong for President Ford to pardon Nixon. I did not. It was the smart move for the country.
Ford was an old-fashioned Republican - fiscally conservative and a a believer in small government.
And he wasn't really all that much of a klutz, though Chevy Chase (then of the SNL cast) had a field day with Ford's physical mishaps. But we shouldn't forget - the man was an athlete and an All-American. He had a great sense of humor - he played along with the joke. Ford was a quintessentially honest, intelligent, and gracious man and a rarity in politics - a modest man with a large amount of integrity.
Fare thee well, President Ford.