Presidential History

Washington's Priorities

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The Ford funeral.

The Nixon funeral.

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  1. “Senior officials will have a chance to improve on their performance when a second ceremony is held for Mr Ford tomorrow at Washington National Cathedral. Mr Bush and three former presidents – George Bush snr, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter – will lead the formal commemoration services.”

    No offense, Jesse, but what’s your point?

  2. Normally, it would infuriate me. But it doesn’t, now that I think about it. Keeping Bush, Reid and Pelosi out of Ford’s funeral and having all the living former presidents and most of Washington attend Nixon’s funeral perfectly represents the character and integrity of the two men.

    Of course, Ford comes out favorably.

  3. Even if Nixon was impeached, he was also at least elected. Ford may have been a fine, fine president (I don’t think so) but he doesn’t have a constituency outside the beltway.

  4. Old Vulcan saying: Only Nixon could go to China.

  5. The only difference I see is that Reagan is completely unable to attend any memorial, and while Ford will certainly be there, he’ll be at room temperature, unlike the rest of the guests.

  6. Damned sad when Dick Cheney leads the pack in basic decency.

  7. he’ll be at room temperature, unlike the rest of the guests.
    ========================================
    Pessimist.

  8. matt,

    LOL. I’ll shed no tears if a Cheney or Rumsfeld (or both!) were to expire during this. I just doubt it will happen.

  9. Its the great and terrible ones that get the spectacle, the men who dominated who get the crowds. The decent, hardworking men who kept their heads down and did the job like a…job will pass away quietly, with only those who loved them nearby. Ford was a hardworking, honest man and a decent president, but their is no strong memory of him that people go to see, there was no fallen giant or the end of an era. He simply was and now isn’t.

    To be fair, it was highly rude of any of the former presidents who didn’t show up. He was one of the few and should be recognized by those of the position that survived him.

  10. Matt Moore: Even if Nixon was impeached, he was also at least elected.

    Not that this has any bearing on your point, but Nixon was never impeached. Only Bill Clinton and, I think, Andrew Johnson hold that high honor.

  11. “Not that this has any bearing on your point, but Nixon was never impeached. Only Bill Clinton and, I think, Andrew Johnson hold that high honor.”

    Not that this has any bearing on your point, but Clinton and Johnson were the only Presidents to be impeached. 15 other officials have been so honoured. (Mostly judges, but also one Senator and one Secretary of War.)

  12. To be fair, it was highly rude of any of the former presidents who didn’t show up.

    Exactly. While state pomp-and-circumstance and diplomatic politeness is quite often ridiculed, it basically is what the job is all about and what these guys are paid for. At least showing up is the *least* they could do. And, at best, the *most* they could do.

  13. I would have more of a problem with this if there wasn’t a second ceremony where all of the remaining ex-presidents and the current one will attend. It’s a basic responsibility of any current or former president to attend the funeral of another but I think one ceremony is enough.

  14. The Ford family faces the same conundrum as my cousin who’s birthday falls on New Years Day: celebration fatigue.

  15. I have to agree with the commenters who noted that there is a second ceremony tomorrow, so at least these guys have a second chance to demonstrate basic decency. Here in the South we have the custom of “viewing,” in which mourners who for some reason can’t make the actual service can sign a visitor’s book and get attendance credit. Kind of like a make-up session for classes.

  16. You know, I think there’s something to be said for only bringing in the major dignitaries at the end, especially since in today’s era the security associated with the big guys is so disruptive.

  17. Ford was a decent man. He wasn’t a great president, but he was a damn sight better than most. I mourn his passing.

  18. Of course, Nixon (by his own choice, I believe) never lay in state in the Rotunda at all. How many Congressmen made the westward trek to his funeral?

  19. Nixon kicked it in late April. His funeral didn’t conflict with anything other than Earth Day and the NCAA basketball tournament. Expecting the national criminal class to be available in DC during the winter holidays, prime junket season, is unrealistic.

    I heard on the TV that Rummy got caught without plane service in New Mexico, due to storms.

    Kevin

  20. In Nixon’s case, they needed to be sure the f***er was really dead. Ford wouldn’t lie about a thing like that.

  21. js:

    So Nixon was Louis B. Mayer?

    Kevin

  22. Of course you’re right, Anonapotomous. I should have said that Nixon resigned, or maybe would have been impeached.

  23. Our president and Congress have lot’s of class.

    All low.

  24. The W.C. sums it up nicely.

  25. Mr Cheney said he “was almost alone in understanding that there can be no healing without pardon”.

    Ya think maybe Cheney is setting the stage for his own upcoming series of investigations, hearings and much needed congressional thrashings?

  26. Hey, Local 4 took enough time off from “PEDOPHILES ARE GOING TO KILL YOUR CHILDREN!!!!” to drive a news van across the state for the funeral.

    That meant more to me than all the major networks.

    Of course, they’ll probably air something like “OMG BEING REALLY OLD WILL KILL YOUR EX-PRESIDENTS!!!” but at least it’s a change.

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