The ballad of Gerald R. Ford

When Gerald Ford was president, John Denver composed The Ballad of Gerald R. Ford. Denver sang it in as close to a dramatic baritone voice as he could muster, and it went like this:

I’ll sing you the ballad of Gerald R. Ford
And all the good that he’s done…

…and then Denver would pause on stage until the audience got the joke.

That was the knock on Ford as president — his critics claimed he was a guy who didn’t do much, a target easy to ridicule for his Whip Inflation Now pins, his swine flu concerns, his refusal to blindly fund a New York City bailout, his clumsiness (although he actually was among the most athletic of all presidents), and his pardoning of Richard Nixon.

History has been kinder, and with good reason. You can make a strong argument that Ford was good for what ailed the nation, and that’s just what some people are doing today.


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