Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ford: Carter was 'disaster,' Reagan was overpraised

Ford: Carter was 'disaster,' Reagan was overpraised. This article is from the It relates a series of interviews with President Ford from after his presidency until his death. In them, he indicated his disapproval with Carter and Reagan.

In 1981, Ford said: "I think Jimmy Carter would be very close to Warren G. Harding. I feel very strongly that Jimmy Carter was a disaster, particularly domestically and economically. I have said more than once that he was certainly the poorest president in my lifetime."

Ford noted that Reagan was "probably the least well-informed on the details of running the government of any president I knew." In a separate interview, he said Reagan "was just a poor manager, and you can't be president and do a good job unless you manage."

I wonder, could Ford have disliked these men because of personal reasons? He lost to Carter in the 1976 Presidential election. Reagan strongly challenged him in the Republican primaries that same year. In addition, Reagan backed out on a deal to name him his Vice-Presidential candidate in 1980. It just seems odd that Ford considered the very different political presidents of Carter and Reagan equally in disdain. Perhaps this is due to personal feelings rather than keen presidential insight?


Jennie W said...

I have to agree with you that I tend to wonder if his personal political fights with these men didn't color his vision somewhat. It is like I would never expect a valid opinion on John Quincy Adams from Andrew Jackson.

Aggie said...

According to the remarks of Carter at Ford's funeral, they were good friends. Speaking as someone who lived through both of their administrations, I can say that I agree with Ford that Carter's administration was a disaster. To me, Carter's presidency was most reminiscent of Woodrow Wilson's presidency because it proved yet again that moralistic presidents have flawed presidencies. I agree also that Reagan was a poor president. Since Carter spoke fondly of Ford at his funeral, saying that they were good friends, then I would say that Ford was giving his analysis of their presidencies aside from personal friendships. Having lived through Carter's and Reagan's administrations, I think that Ford, in this case, displayed keen insight.