Gerald Ford - the uneasy Number 2.

Meet No. 2 – Nixon Appoints Ford – October 12, 1973

Gerald Ford - the uneasy Number 2.

Gerald Ford – the uneasy Number 2.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – Special Report – Nixon Chooses Ford as VP – October 12, 1973 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Just as America was reeling from the shock of vice-President Spiro Agnew‘s resignation amid a flurry of accusations of improprieties, President Nixon announced the selection of House Minority leader and Congressman Gerald R. Ford of Michigan as his Number 2.

Well known around Capitol Hill, he was barely known throughout the rest of the country, except for his occasional run-ins with President Johnson in the 1960s. It was Ford whom LBJ characterized as “playing football too many times without a helmet” and several other bon mots over his political abilities. But speculation was rife over what sort of President Ford would make since, should the unthinkable happen. In a worst-case scenario, Gerald Ford would be the first non-elected vice-President to become the first non-elected President.

And since the Watergate scandal was in full-bloom, anything was possible under the circumstances.

But many considered Ford a safe choice – actually, as it was learned later, Gerald Ford was Nixon’s only choice in light of the growing concern.

But on October 12th 1973, America held its collective breath and wondered aloud just who this Gerald Ford guy was.

We’d find out soon enough.

Here is that hastily gathered announcement and commentary after from CBS News on October 12, 1973.

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