If any former president had access to an operational time machine, it may have been former President Gerald Ford.
But his foresight would not focus on the degradation of America’s international standing or the fiscal ramifications of stagflation and untethered federal spending. Rather, it would deal with how America would elect, or more precisely, promote the first female president.
When Ford visited the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa, on Oct. 18, 1989 — approximately a decade after leaving office — he was given the special chance to share with the nation’s youth the role that former presidents played in American society, after they departed from the presidency.
In this setting, the former president did not have to worry about ditching and dodging around the biting journalistic questions of the day. Instead, he was asked by one young girl, “What advice would you give a young lady wanting to become president of the United States?”
With a smile, the former president opened with, “Well I hope we do have a young lady at some point become president of the United States.” His following description would appear as if the 38th president was a part-time Nostradamus.
“I can tell you how I think it will happen because it won’t happen in the normal course of events.”
“Either the Republican or Democrat political party will nominate a man for president and a woman for vice president. And the woman and man will win, so you’ll end up with a president — a male — and a vice president — a female,” he said.
“In that term of office of the president, the president will die and the woman will become president under the law or Constitution,” Ford said, in an unknowingly foreboding sense.
Taking a quick look at the current administration, it may appear Ford was onto something.
Could Ford’s fortune-telling be correct?
There are a few pathways by which the vice president could become president. In the case of an assassination or resignation, the 25th Amendment gives the vice president the authority to take the role of the executive. In other cases, the mechanism of impeachment and removal gives Congress the means to check a president’s bad behavior.
Absent a popularly held election, however, it would be interesting to see how the American people would react to a Harris presidency, as conservatives, libertarians and even some progressives and liberals have voiced their concerns over her authoritarian record.
After former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii highlighted Harris’ record as attorney general and prosecutor at a Democratic presidential debate in 2019, much of the country recoiled upon hearing that she forced prisoners to stay past their sentences and purposely hid evidence of innocence for a man sitting on death row.
As a Washington grifter, Harris’ actions do not often win the hearts and minds of the American people.
President Ford, nonetheless, left those young visitors with one last message.
“Once that barrier is broken, from then on men better be careful because they’ll have a hard, hard time ever even getting a nomination in the future.”
With everyone’s eyes set on 2024, it may be time for the guys to watch out.
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