[from the president's blague]
Some men are born to greatness, and some go to make their greatness, while others may have greatness thrust on them. Gerald Ford was such a man.
Like the time after Clinton had divided this great country with his moral weaknesses and the country looked to a known healer to bring us back together, to work together for freedom, Gerald Ford patched things up with Nixon.
Nixon ended the war in Vietnam with honor, honored the troops, especially those and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice. But he was thinking about socialized health insurance and welfare and the environment and he also had to go. With all those things out of the way, after the needless trauma, vindictive, hearings that riveted the nation and wounded it deeply, Gerald Ford rose to the challenge of leading her back to the altar of freedom.
Few people thanked him then, but they all do now. I join with all good Americans in gratitude to this great man. It is better to keep the nation safe than sorry for political vendettas and a world where the law is completely in the hands of just anyone without responsibility.
We are grateful that Saddam Hussein has hanged over there in Iraq so that the many peoples of that region can be free of the threat of terror hanging over their heads. The tide has turned. The United States are safer, and so is the world. James Brown and Coretta Scott King can rest in peace, knowing that they left this country a little better than it was before them.
My job is to do that, too, however I can. I can't pardon Nixon again, but I will continue to unite the people for what's best for our children and our children's children. Whether it's popular or not. I have to make hard decisions, but that's part of the job and I accept it.
We are Americans. We love to shop. That's real life and it's worth protecting like values. I'm not hiding.
Laura's and my heart goes out to all those who have sacrificed, and to our friend Betsy Ford in this hour of her grief and special glory.
God bless the United States of America and continue to guide the Office of the President.