ford administration


Planning the Transition

On August 8, 1974, longtime friend and former law partner Philip Buchen presented Vice President Gerald R. Ford with this memorandum outlining key decisions for him to make in preparation for his assumption of the Presidency.

Buchen had been working at the White House on the Domestic Council’s Committee on Right to Privacy and for several months had believed that President Nixon was likely to resign. Unbeknownst to Ford, he had formed a secret “transition team” that had been meeting for several months. Although the team hadn’t accomplished much by the time the Vice President learned of it on August 6, its work provided a starting point for what still needed to be done.

Vice President Ford used this memo to indicate his choices for several important transition staff members. He selected Donald Rumsfeld to take the lead on White House organization, Rogers Morton to be liaison with the Cabinet, Jack Marsh to be political liaison, and Bill Scranton to assist with personnel issues. He also notted additional groups he wanted to meet with in the first week of his administration.

What she asked me to talk about after she was gone, was how in the olden days when her husband was minority leader of Congress and my father was majority leader of Congress, that Democrats and Republicans were friends, and that they worked together to get things done,” NPR’s Cokie Roberts said. “And I must say, she asked me, she gave me this somewhat daunting assignment five years ago, but it seems incredibly appropriate today and particularly this week as we see what’s going on in Washington right now being very different from what was true then.

i want to sit in a kissing booth at a fair and as soon as someone pays, i’ll hold up a sign that says “ER” against the main sign. suddenly it becomes a kissinger booth. think you’re going to get a kiss? wrong. get ready to hear about US foreign policy during the Nixon and Ford administrations.