'Instant VP' Addresses U Grads
With a Hi-Ho Silver and a flurry of Horse-shit, Vice-President Gerald Ford clattered through Ann Arbor a week ago last Saturday to participate in the age-old tradition of buying honorary degrees. Jerry got his Honorary Doctor of Law after presenting a check for $32,000 the previous Monday to the U-M Presidents' Club. It was part of the money made from the sale of the "official" Ford vice-presidential inaugural medal, with much more to come.
Quoting Chairman Mao, and trying to ignore Watergate, Ford addressed the commencement crowd at Crisler arena. He was continually heckled by many people in the crowd. A pre-planned protest turned out to be a badly-managed affair which only succeeded in started a fire, a fight, and getting some people thrown out. The protestors of ten incoherent messages varied from a call to join the workers' revolution to assassination and were an eloquent reminder to Middle America that there are still incomprehensible long-haired anarchists out there ready to take over at any moment.
As he didn't have much to say, Ford was fairly well received by most of the crowd until one point where he brought the house down with boos when he said, "I cannot understand how anyone can criticize the President for taking his case to the people unless what the critic really wants is to negate the verdict of the people." Another line that got a bad reaction was "I cannot imagine any other country in the world where the opposition would seek, and the chief executive would allow, the dissemination of his most private and personal conversations with his staff." But Jerry wooed them all back by adding that the conversations didn't "exactly confer sainthood on anyone concerned."
But all this wierdness probably comes from some speechwriter, and the question that's bothering everybody now is, "Just who is Gerald Ford? This Mr. Nice Guy?" What with the ever-more impeachable Mr. Nixon losing his grip on things we're liable to wake up any morning with a President Ford, somebody we didn't get to vote for, wouldn't have if we could have, and don't know anything about except that, at least on the surface he seems to be able to get along with everybody, plus his voting record is stone reactionary. For example, Ford led the unsuccessful attempt to unseat progressive Supreme Court Justice William Douglas.
As an old fraternity brother remarked, "Jerry was the perfect 'roomie." and that's just great, but how about President of the United States? Here we have the man billed as the "Reluctant leader" who calls himself the "Instant vice-president" and does everything he's told to do. His only qualifications seem to be his firm handshake, and ready smile and one can well imagine Standard Oil running things, while Jerry blissfully contemplates the "good old days at Michigan."