December 27, 2006
In a Reuters story with the headline "30 Years Later, Chevy Chase Calls Ford 'Terrific Guy', they saw fit to include a quote that really has no place in the story:
"He had never been elected period, so I never felt that he deserved to be there to begin with," the actor said about Ford, who died on Tuesday at age 93. "That was just the way I felt then as a young man and as a writer and a liberal."Now let's look at the utter absurdity of this statement.
Under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (that's the main document outlining our Federal government, Chevy), the Vice-President is next in line to succeed a President who dies, becomes incapacitated or resigns from office. Richard Nixon resigned from office. Gerald Ford was Vice-President at the time. You do the math.
The fact that Ford hadn't been elected Vice-President is not the point. His appointment was approved by a majority of the members of Congress (both chambers then controlled by Democrats). What would Chevy have preferred? President Spiro Agnew? He was elected Vice-President, after all. Or maybe Chevy thinks that Ford should have also resigned (not having been elected and all) and allowed the Speaker of the House to assume the Presidency. That would have been Democrat Carl Albert. Of course, Albert had merely been elected Speaker by a majority of the members of the House, as opposed to both chambers. But he was a Democrat, right?
No, Chevy Chase understands the rules of succession just fine. Despite the fact that Ford - a gracious man - was always kind to Chase despite the fun (and the early career boost) he got at the former President's expense, I think there's a little something else behind that particular comment.
What probably steamed Chevy Chase about Ford at the time - and probably still does - is the fact that he pardoned Nixon. I'm sure that "as a young man and as a writer and a liberal", Chase was kicking himself that Nixon wasn't publicly drawn and quartered over Watergate. The irony is that while Nixon was a Republican, he was by no means a Conservative. But what's a silly label when you're part of an evil political party?
Plus, it's hard to pass up an opportunity to undermine the legitimacy of a Republican President. Ain't it, Chevy?
I'm reminded of a scene from "Caddyshack" when Chase's Ty Webb pulls aside Judge Smails (brilliantly played by Ted Knight, a real comic talent) to tell him "You know, Judge. My dad...never liked you."
Somehow I can't help but think that when Chevy Chase muses "We kept in touch and he was just a terrific guy" that he is in fact just kidding himself and that Ford...never really like him. Though Ford was too much of a gentleman to let him know that.
Posted by: Dan Patterson at December 28, 2006 07:54 AM (g0sQE)
Posted by: Pam at December 28, 2006 01:43 PM (E1H09)
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