An Ordinary Man
Gerald Ford was more than an accident of history
For many Americans, President Gerald Ford was the genial accident of history who controversially pardoned his Watergate-tarnished predecessor, presided over the fall of Saigon, and became a punching bag on Saturday Night Live. Yet our revered guest nationally recognized authority on the American presidency, a familiar face to viewers of C-SPAN (our nerd tv mecca) and an absolute national treasure, Historian and Author, Richard Norton Smith reveals in his incredible new book Ordinary Man, An: The Surprising Life and Historic Presidency of Gerald R. Ford that with a proper look, Ford was underrated and full of surprises.
Richard was a joy to spend time with, and his knowledge and understanding of the presidency seems boundless, like if we sat for 10 more episodes, we would barely scratch the surface. His latest book is an incredible study of an underrated leader whose tough decisions and personal decency look better with the passage of time. I couldn’t put it down, and made this interview happen based on being so very taken with this book and its fine author.
As I gear up to devour the rest of Richards books, you can catch up and enjoy not only this very special episode, but please read his absolutely gorgeous eulogy at President Ford’s funeral as well. https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/grf/funeral/smith.asp
If only we had a Gerald Ford to choose from instead of the buffoon parade currently positioning for 2024…
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