January 3, 2007
Listening and watching the funeral of the late President Gerald Ford, I was struck by how many speakers and commentators used the words “integrity.” Former President Bush said that Jerry Ford’s word was always good.
How many contemporary politicians can you name with a reputation like that? Today’s politicians seem mostly out for all they can get and to stay in office as long as they can.
Jerry ford was unassuming and without guile, said Henry Kissinger, Ford’s former secretary of state and national security advisor. Never having desired national office, said Kissinger, Ford was not consumed with driving ambition, but had the virtues of small town America. He became president by two historical flukes and he served with a humility we don’t see enough of.
I met him a couple of times and was struck by his ordinariness, even as president. There was no pretension about him.
We should be grateful for such leaders and pray for more of them.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.