Anonymous asked this question on 6/14/2000:
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE PRESIDENT OF THE CENTURY AND WHY
madpol gave this response on 6/16/2000:
My favorite president of this century is "Bubba" Bill Clinton, on account of his being the only one we've had so far.
For the 20th century, my pick would be Gerald Ford. I realize that Ford is hardly the 1st name that pops into most people's minds, but let me explain.
Ours is a system of checks and balances, and ford understood that better than most people. In less than two years in office, Ford used the presidential veto 93 times. That's more than any other president in a similar period.
It was a time when the Republic was in serious danger. There were calls for radical change on every side, and politicians and special pleaders of every stripe racing to exploit the power vacuum at the top. Ford held to a steady course, giving Americans time to sort things out. Sometimes nothing is the best thing to do. And nobody understood the value of nothing like Gerald Ford.
Most of his good work was wiped away by the Reagan-Bush spending spree and the 20 year assault on the Bill of rights launched by Republicans after Ronald Reagan's election.
Ford may well have been the last of the Teddy Roosevelt Republicans, and it's a shame that he'll mostly be remembered in footnotes.
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