Notebook: Gerald Ford
If you think we live in politically divisive times now remember just how polarized the country was when Gerald Ford assumed the presidency back in 1974.
The Vietnam War and the scandals of Watergate bitterly divided Americans. Inflation and oil shortages added to the tensions. But with humility and humanity, a man who had never been elected to national office convinced the nation that "our long national nightmare" was over.
Americans breathed a collective sigh of relief and President Ford helped restore public confidence in the presidency and move the nation forward from one of its darkest hours.
Gerald Ford has been called the last moderate. The tributes paid to him this week should remind the incoming Congress that a political leader can be moderate, conciliatory and strong.
That's a page from my notebook.