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It was indeed an unprecedented time. Ford was the first vice president chosen under the terms of theTwenty-Fifth Amendment, which provides for the appointment of a vice president in the event theincumbent dies or resigns; Nixon had appointed Ford, a longtime House representative from Michiganknown for his honesty, following the resignation of embattled vice president Spiro T. Agnew over a chargeof failing to report income²a lenient charge since this income stemmed from bribes he had received asthe governor of Maryland. Ford was also the first vice president to take office after a sitting president°sresignation, and the only chief executive never elected either president or vice president. One of his firstactions as president was to grant Richard Nixon a full pardon (Figure 30.18). Ford thus prevented Nixon°sindictment for any crimes he may have committed in office and ended criminal investigations into hisactions. The public reacted with suspicion and outrage. Many were convinced that the extent of Nixon°swrongdoings would now never been known and he would never be called to account for them. When Fordchose to run for the presidency in 1976, the pardon returned to haunt him.920Chapter 30 Political Storms at Home and Abroad, 1968-1980This content is available for free at https://FQ[±RUJ/content/col11740/1.3
Figure 30.18In one of his first actions as president, Gerald R. Ford announced a full pardon for Richard Nixon onSeptember 8, 1974. Nixon had appointed Ford vice president after the resignation of Spiro Agnew.As president, Ford confronted monumental issues, such as inflation, a depressed economy, and chronicenergy shortages. He established his policies during his first year in office, despite opposition from aheavily Democratic Congress. In October 1974, he labeled inflation the country°s most dangerous publicenemy and sought a grassroots campaign to curtail it by encouraging people to be disciplined in theirconsuming habits and increase their savings. The campaign was titled ³Whip Inflation Now´ and wasadvertised on brightly colored ³Win´ buttons volunteers were to wear. When recession became thenation°s most serious domestic problem, Ford shifted to measures aimed at stimulating the economy.Still fearing inflation, however, he vetoed a number of nonmilitary appropriations bills that would haveincreased the already-large budget deficit.Ford°s economic policies ultimately proved unsuccessful. Because of opposition from a DemocraticCongress, his foreign policy accomplishments were also limited. When he requested money to assist theSouth Vietnamese government in its effort to repel North Vietnamese forces, Congress refused. Ford wasmore successful in other parts of the world. He continued Nixon°s policy of dµtente with the Soviet Union,and he and Secretary of State Kissinger achieved further progress in the second round of SALT talks. InAugust 1975, Ford went to Finland and signed the Helsinki Accords with Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev.

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Term
Fall
Professor
Ponder
Tags
Richard Nixon, Vietnam War, President Nixon

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