Profile of Vice President-Designate Gerald Ford

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NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw/Ron Nessen/Bob Jamieson
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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After Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns amid a tax evasion scandal, President Richard Nixon nominates House Minority Leader Gerald Ford as the replacement. The nomination is the first time the vice-presidential vacancy provision of the 25th Amendment has been implemented. NBC's Ron Nessen and Bob Jamieson profile Gerald Ford a day after his nomination.



"Profile of Vice President-Designate Gerald Ford." Ron Nessen, Bob Jamieson, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 13 Oct. 1973. NBC Learn. Web. 5 February 2015.


Nessen, R. (Reporter), & Jamieson, B. (Reporter), & Brokaw, T. (Anchor). (1973, October 13). Profile of Vice President-Designate Gerald Ford. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"Profile of Vice President-Designate Gerald Ford" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 10/13/1973. Accessed Thu Feb 5 2015 from NBC Learn:


Profile of Vice President-Designate Gerald Ford

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

As House Minority Leader, Congressman Gerald Ford has been a kind of national minor figure, but with this nomination the Congressman and his family will become just about as well known as the automobile with the same name. NBC News correspondents Ron Nessen and Bob Jamieson have reports on the first day in the new life of Gerald Ford.

RON NESSEN, reporting:

Mrs. Ford answered the door herself in a bathrobe when a neighbor brought a box from the bakery this morning. There was still that kind of informality around Ford’s modest home in suburban Virginia, but Ford’s elevation changed the neighborhood overnight. Secret Service agents patrolled, a security command post was set up hurriedly, police stood guard.

Ford went to the Capitol early and held his first news conference as vice president-designate. He said he has promised his wife not to run for president or any other office in 1976.

At midday, President Nixon summoned Ford to the White House for a briefing on the Middle East war. Foreign policy is not one of Ford’s strong points. President Nixon promised to give him a crash course.

President RICHARD NIXON: Starting immediately, the Congressman will receive the daily intelligence brief which is what I have in my hands here, and we’ll participate in meeting with the National Security Council meetings with the cabinet.

NESSEN: Technically, Ford is still a congressman with constituents to worry about, so after the White House briefing, he went to the airport and flew to his home district in Michigan. Ron Nessen, NBC News, Washington.

BOB JAMIESON, reporting:

Only a small crowd was on hand at the airport at Grand Rapids, Michigan, to meet Gerald Ford, who had represented his hometown in Congress for 25 years and who today returned as vice president-designate. It wasn’t widely known that Ford was coming home barely 16 hours after the President nominated him to replace Spiro Agnew, yet there were more than a hundred townspeople and reporters waiting to say hello. He is immensely popular here.

Gerald Ford wasn’t born in Grand Rapids, but he has spent nearly all of his life here. His family said his formative years were spent living here, at 649 Union Street, where his father stressed the need for a worthwhile life.

From the Union Street home, it was a short walk to South High School where he starred in football and earned the nickname “Junie” because teammates thought he moved about the football field as nimbly as a June bug.

The people who elected Ford like to think his actions on Capitol Hill reflect the district he represents. Yet Grand Rapids’ Republican Mayor believes labeling Ford a conservative is inaccurate.

Mayor LYMAN PARKS: In my dealings with him and what I know about the man, how I’ve seen him function, I know some liberals, at least who call themselves liberals, are far more conservative when they get faced with the reality of standing up than Jerry Ford is.

JAMIESON: Gerald Ford’s brother, Tom, once in politics himself, believes that in light of Watergate and the Agnew resignation, the Vice President-designate faces a big job.

THOMAS FORD: Frankly, I feel very sorry for him because while he has had considerable exposure to everything he did, it’s certainly more than anything like what he can expect in the future.

JAMIESON: Gerald Ford, however, seemed confident today and very happy as he marched in a parade in Cedar Springs, Michigan, not far from his home. The parade is part of Red Flannel Day, in a city where much of the nation’s red flannel underwear is made. Thomas Ford said today his brother had wanted more than anything in his political career to be Speaker of the House, but today he is the newly designated Vice President and seemed to be enjoying it. Bob Jamieson, NBC News, Grand Rapid, Michigan.