The "Calm One" Passes
WASHINGTON — Tributes from around the country poured forward Wednesday for President Gerald R. Ford, who led America out of the tumultuous post-Watergate period with dignity and respect.
Saying the United States will be grateful forever, President Bush on Wednesday bade farewell to the 38th president, just hours after he died at home in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
"President Ford lived 93 years and his life was a blessing to America," Bush said from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he and the first lady are staying through the New Year. "President Ford was a great man who devoted the best years of his life in serving the United States. He was a true gentleman who reflected the best in America's character."
Bush, who will attend Ford's funeral, said the man who took over the top job after the resignation of Richard Nixon led with honorable conduct and a sense of duty in a time of post-Watergate turmoil.
"On August 9, 1974, he stepped into the presidency without ever having sought the office. He assumed power in a period of great division and turmoil. For a nation that needed healing and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when we needed him most," Bush said.
Marie's Two Cents has an excellent biography here.