The country’s life preserver


By Chris Matthews


Jerry Ford was the country’s life preserver.   He became president in August of 1974 just as the dark cloud of Watergate had descended on us.   Yet there, in the midst of the corruption and confusion, appeared this decent fellow with a clear sense of himself and his country.

President Ford was a politician but also a human being, a combination that should not seem rare in the best of times but certainly did in those odd days at the final days of the Nixon presidency.  

I worked for Speaker Tip O’Neill during the 1980s.   He was a Democrat.  One of his best friends in Congress was Jerry Ford, a Republican.   They hung out with each other, argued with each other on the House floor, played golf with each other, went on trips together.

Now that Tip and Jerry are gone, I hope their brand of bi-partisan friendship isn’t too.

The country's life preserver