A Brave and Good Man: Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006.
Jerry Ford will always be remembered for his pardon of Richard Nixon; bitter-enders still damn him for it. It was an action of immense political bravery, and was the proper medicine that a wounded nation needed for the long term recovery from Watergate. The Press and Democratic Politburos, drunk with power by Nixon's exit, wanted to drag his carcass through the streets for the climax of their bacchanalia. Ford wouldn't have it - he knew it would result in political warfare for years (fast forward to 1989 and John Tower) - and rolled the dice as to the consequences on the congressional midterm elections and his reelection. They came up bad, but he didn't whine about a "malaise" for his ill fortune.
His administration signed the Helsinki Accords, which, conservatives will remind one, effectively codified the Soviet control of Eastern Europe. However, they also provided a useful dipolmatic two-by-four for Ronald Reagan to use against the Evil Empire, namely the recognition of human rights that transcended their definition by the State.
[See WSJ OpinionJournal for further discussion of Ford's achievements]
He was a tremendously decent man, while giving as well as he took the body blows in The Arena. R.I.P., from a grateful nation.