Friday, January 05, 2007

Hardball with Chris Matthews: Transcript of Dec 28th show discussing the taped interview of President Ford by Bob Woodward:
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me give you the context. President Ford knew that this interview would not be published by Bob Woodward until after his death. Bob Woodward taped the interview. And we have that tape. It took four hours, the interview. He went out to see him in Boulder Creek, Colorado in the summer of 2004.

And President Ford was not that close to George W. Bush and would never have offered advice on foreign policy to Bush, but was heavily influenced by his own experiences with Vietnam and lifelong regret that America had been forced to retreat from Vietnam on his watch. He inherited that war. He didn‘t decide to go into Vietnam, as you know, but he was the president in the Oval Office who had to decide to unwind it and admitted in this interview to Woodward that we had waited too long to withdraw from Vietnam, something that he now acknowledges was a mistake.

The next President is probably going to "get" to walk a mile in Gerald Ford's shoes. I wonder if all the folks angling for the White House have considered what it will be like to have to make that lonely decision. Ford could not have substantially changed the outcome of the war when he took office, but he was still took the hit when the images of the Helicopters evacuating the embassy hit the news. No doubt there will be many who will attempt to blame the new President for pulling the plug on an inherited mess. It certainly isn't the kind of moment kids think of when they dream of being the President when they grow up.

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