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By Mary Mueller Winget

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Lincoln’s. But I will do my very best to equal his brevity and his plain speaking. . Before I go from this House, which has been my home for a quarter century, I must say I am forever in its debt . . To all of my friends here. . ” ✧ ——––––––––——— Ford waves to the crowd after being sworn in as vice president in the House chamber in 1973. A PRESIDENTIAL FIRST Gerald Ford was the first person to become vice president— and later president—under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. It had been added in 1965.

In the end, Nixon chose United Nations ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge. Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts was the Democratic candidate. Ford campaigned hard for the Nixon presidential campaign. Nixon and Kennedy took part in the first presidential debates ever shown on TV. Television wasn’t kind to Nixon. He wasn’t as polished as Kennedy. He appeared unsure of himself. In sharp contrast, Kennedy was able to use TV to his advantage. Although the election was close, Kennedy won. But the Republicans added twenty-two representatives in the House.

They often walked together from their offices to the House chamber. The new president asked Ford for his support in the House, especially on foreign policy issues. Ford agreed to help where he could. That same year, 1961, the American Political Science Association chose Ford to receive its Congressional Distinguished Service Award. As the senior Republican on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Congressman Ford could speak knowledgeably about military matters. He was getting invitations to speak at conferences and universities.

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