How to Lose a Presidential Election in the 20th Century

Presidential Election
David Hume Kennerly, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite his two years of turmoil, it would not be the events that surrounded him at the end of his tenure that would cost him the election, but what he did right at the beginning. While it is true that voters wanted a more honest politician holding the reigns of the country, Ford himself was a relatively moderate Republican and portrayed himself as an experienced leader. Unfortunately, the events of September 8, 1974, would kill his aspirations to become a president elected by the people.

In a televised broadcast to the nation, Ford issued Proclamation 4311, which gave Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president. This act, although sold to the nation as in its best interests, was something the nation was less than forgiving of as Ford was narrowly defeated.

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