In 1973–1974 I worked in the Nixon White House on drug abuse treatment and drug interdiction policy. I left on August 1, 1974, Mr Nixon about a week later. (We both went to California.) I hate to say something like this, it's so pretentious, but in a way only those of us who were there at the implosion may know how it felt from the inside. All of which is to say that the administration of the oath of office to Gerald Ford was a very momentous occasion. The Republic was wobbly. Ford doubtless had his faults, but he restored calm in almost a flash with his demeanor. (Anyone remember the picture of him in the White House kitchen toasting his own toast?) Hence, I will miss him. I met him only once, when we were both speaking in San Jose. Our conversation lasted but a couple of minutes, but his graciousness and lack of pretense shone through. Ford was tough when he needed to be tough, to be sure—it goes with the turf. But it is his decency that I shall fondly remember.
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.