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RIP Betty Ford


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Betty Ford, the widow of late President Gerald Ford and a co-founder of an eponymous addiction center in California, has died at the age of 93, according to the director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

Ford died Friday evening with family at her bedside, according to a family member.

No other details were immediately available.

The family moved to Washington, where Gerald Ford served in the Capitol for 25 years prior to his being tapped, in 1973, as then-President Richard Nixon's vice president in place of Spiro T. Agnew.

Just over 10 months later, Betty Ford became first lady when her husband was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States. Gerald Ford took office after Nixon resigned in the wake of his impeachment following the crisis and cover-up of the break-in at the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington.

Betty Ford soon made headlines, discussing abortion, pre-marital sex and equal rights on CBS' "60 Minutes" and being named Newsweek's 1975 "Woman of the Year."

But in 1978, just over one year after leaving the White House after her husband lost his campaign to remain president, Ford made headlines of a different kind. She entered the Long Beach Naval Hospital to be treated for alcohol and prescription painkiller abuse


She is going to go down as one of our greatest first ladies because of her honesty and all she did to shed light on addiction. Her clinic, despite becoming a cliche destination for celebrities, has done good work over the years.

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She was a very strong woman.

I'm glad she was First Lady in an era like the 70's. Today she would have been torn to pieces for doing anything besides standing in the corner, blinking at the camera. We would hear all about how opening a clinic means she is somehow encouraging alcoholism, and how this is unAmerican and blah blah blah.

I'm sorry for her family, since they lost Gerald a few years ago.

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This is very sad news. Mrs. Ford was such an inspirational woman, and blzaed many trails.

President Ford deserves great credit for allowing Betty to speak her mind, and for not using her as a political prop (in contrast to the way 98% of all other politicans have used their wives).

While Betty (thankfully) has always gotten the recognition she deserves, I believe that Jerry remains one of our most underrated presidents. The efforts on his part to hold the nation together following the Watergate crisis were truly extraordinary.

Over the last 15 or so years, however, President Ford's historical reputation has (finally) begun to improve. Furthermore, I've oftentimes heard today's liberals praise his moderate political positions, and openly wish that the modern GOP would pattern itself after Ford's beliefs. Unfortunately, Democrats were not so kind to President Ford back in the 70's: For one thing, they absolutely ripped him to shreads for pardoning Nixon (with all sorts of conspiracy theories existing at the time centering around the notion that some secret deal had been made between the two men). Additionally, they routinely lampooned his intellect, portraying him as a bumbling simpleton who couldn't even walk without tripping over himself.

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I seem to remember conservatives also hating him. That's one of the reasons Reagan came so close to winning in 1976 and why they fought tooth and nail to make sure he wasn't VP in 1980.

This is 100% true (as it pertained to the far right-wing of the GOP back then).

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