Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Context: Cheney on Iraq, Nixon Pardon

Back in the day, Ted Kennedy was piling-on Gerald Ford for his pardon of former President Richard Nixon. More recently, Kennedy was giving Ford a "Profile in Courage" Award for making the "correct" decision in the matter. Hoping to seize upon history's quirk, Vice-President Cheney said this in a recent interview:

The president had to go up -- chose to go up before the Judiciary Committee of the House and testify in order to put down the rumors that somehow there had been a deal between he and President Nixon, that if he would pardon Nixon, then he would get to be president himself. I rode up there with him that day and sat in the hearing room while he answered all those questions. I know how much grief he took for that decision, and it may well have cost him the presidency in '76.

Thirty years later, nearly everybody would say it is exactly the right thing to do, that if he'd paid attention at the time to the polls he never would have done that. But he demonstrated, I think, great courage and great foresight, and the country was better off for what Jerry Ford did that day. And 30 years later, everybody recognized it.

And I have the same strong conviction the issues we're dealing with today -- the global war on terror, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq -- that all of the tough calls the president has had to make, that 30 years from now it will be clear that he made the right decisions, and that the effort we mounted was the right one, and that if we had listened to the polls, we would have gotten it wrong.

See Washignton Post story here.

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