And Contrast Essay, Research Paper
Gerald Ford (1974-77) and Albert Gore
A Comparison and Contrast of the United States Presidency
Gerald Ford and Albert Gore: A Comparison and Contrast of the United States Presidency
As a truly beaten Richard Nixon sat in the Oval Office the walls of his presidency closed all around him. The Watergate Scandal had been so exhausting to President Nixon that some feared that he might take his own life. Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski was closing in on Nixon, he had received White House tape recordings and transcripts that Nixon knew would put him in jail. Several Months earlier Vice President Spirow Agnew resigned and Nixon nominated long time friend and Congressman Gerald Ford. This I feel was a seat that Ford was not prepared for and many times in speeches he gave he admitted to. Thirty years later another Presidency was in jeopardy, the Clinton administration was facing impeachment by the Senate after a successful impeachment in the House. As these two crises unfolded the two Vice Presidents, Ford and Gore faced a very real possibility of inheriting the highest role in the United States Government.
“The Presidency is the loneliest job in the United States,” as Ford moved into the Presidency he soon found out why. Shadowed by a scandal that had rocked the White House, Ford found it near impossible to shake the cloak of Nixon. “Theirs is an American tragedy in which we have all played a part. It could go on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can I must.” Ford was seeking closer of this incident and thought he found it in a pardon. As Vice President Gore gears up for his campaign against George W. Bush he is constantly reminded of his misfortunes of his predecessor William Clinton. Although this scandal does loom over the Clinton campaign, it seems to me that Gore will ovoid the scandal that brought Ford his demise. It will be interesting to see that if Bush tries to challenge Gore on this point in the future how the Vice President will react. Will he be defensive, will he place the blame entirely on Clinton, the outcome we’ll have to wait and see!
“Ford, like other Presidents, believed what he wanted to believe. The presidency gives the holder a unique power to project an explanation.” Although Ford had his best intentions in mind, the pardon of Nixon was hastily done. The public was not prepared; he didn’t have the media warned that this was to happen. Ford felt pressured to shrug this scandal off his back so his Presidency wouldn’t be tarnished too. Does the scandals of the Clinton-Gore Administration need some rectifying by the new President. Will Gore need to address the question of campaign finance reform, the ability of the next man in office will dictate a lot of future leaders after what has happened in the past eight years. The need of closer has long past on the Lewinsky matter but questions still arouse as to how far a standing President can be questioned.
“As a result of his (Nixon) actions, presidents not only would be subject to doubt and second guessing, they would be suspected of outright criminality.” The wake of Nixon has still not subsided; the office has never been the same. Although Ford tried to fight it, Nixon did not leave him, the public did not forget. The office was tarnished and as Ford ran for election in 1976 the Watergate Scandal followed him. Special Prosecutor Charles F.C. Ruff subpoenaed records to see if Ford had accepted improper cash settlements. As the aqusations were false it still was carried out for months and dropped right before the election, which in turn Ford lost. It will be interesting to see if this will be the same demise for Gore in 2000. If the public sees him as having dirty hands from the Clinton Administration, it could be detrimental to his campaign machine. It seems to me that this could be easy pray for Bush when the time comes, Bush can’t choke it to death, if he takes notes from Carter he should be all right.
As I read the book Shadows: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate, Mr. Woodward’s opinion came through very clearly. Although cynical he has absolute respect for the office and the men who serve it. “After more than 25 years of covering presidents, I am still surprised that his successors did not fully comprehend the depth of distrust left by Nixon.” Trust is a very important thing to have, if your President of the United States or a Cashier, trust is your word. These two people I have just discussed have or had a trust issue before them, although it may have not been there deception it was or will be there job to rectify it.