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Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. was the only President and Vice President to serve those terms unelected. On October 10th 1973, Spiro Agnew resigned as Vice President to then President Richard Nixon. On October 13th Gerald R. Ford was nominated to assume the position of Vice President and was the first time the vacancy provision for a Vice President in the Twenty fifth Amendment was implemented. On November 27th the United States Senate confirmed the nomination by a vote of 92 to 3. On December 6th the House confirmed Ford by a vote of 387 to 35. One hour later Ford took the oath of office to serve as fortieth Vice President of the United States.

That Spiro Agnew had resigned in shame and under scandal was just a preview of what was to come and the seedy little drama that came to be known as the Watergate scandal placed Ford in the Twilight Zone of politics as he ascended to the Presidency on August 9th 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned and Gerald R. Ford became the 38th President of the United States of America. Directly after Ford took the oath of office standing before the assembled audience and broadcast live to the nation he said: "I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your President with your prayers."

On August 20th Ford nominated Nelson Rockefeller to fill the vacancy he had left behind as Vice President. On September 8th Gerald Ford issued Proclamation 4311 which gave Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes committed while serving as President of the United States. Ford defended the pardon as being in the best interest of the country and said of the Nixon scandal that it was; "...a tragedy in which we have all played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write an end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must."

The source of Ford's decision to grant Nixon a pardon is reportedly a Supreme Court decision made in 1915, Burdick V. United States. The ruling stated that a pardon indicated a presumption of guilt and that acceptance of a pardon was tantamount to a confession of that guilt. This is sound reasoning and explains the conviction of his words that he was the one who must put and end to this tragedy. History should and increasingly does remember this man as a brave and honorable man who accepted the thankless job of restoring some semblance of respectability back to the office of Presidency. Even so, history seems to remember that it was his decision to pardon Nixon that ultimately lost him a second term as President and because of Americans distaste for the Presidency in general and their distaste for Nixon's pardon they elected quite possibly the worst President who ever served in office. But, that's a different story...

Actually Gerald Ford did run for president. He was defeated by Jimmy Carter in 1976.

There were 3 US Presidents, however, who NEVER ran for president. They all did run for vice-president.

John Tyler succeeded William Henry Harrison who died in office. This was the first president to die in office and there was a great deal of controversy about Tyler's role. He had a very difficult time, was thrown out of the Whig party and was not nominated to run again.

Andrew Johnson became president on Lincoln's assassination and his problems with congress are legend, including an impeachment attempt. He also was not a Republican. He could not get the Democratic (or any) nomination and was succeeded by Grant.

Chester Arthur became president following the assassination of James Garfield. He sought the Republican nomination but had made enemies with his civil service reform, etc. and could not get the nomination. He was succeeded by Democratic president Grover Cleveland.

When Zachary Taylor died vice president Millard Fillmore became president. He could not get the Whig nomination in the next election but did get it 4 years later but lost the election.

Pat Carrier

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15y ago
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11y ago

George Washington did not campaign but rather had the presidency handed to him. John Tyler , Andrew Johnson, and Chester Arthur became president because they were vice-president when the president died. Johnson and Arthur might be said to have run for the nomination but did not win and so did not run in the November election

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Q: What president never ran for president?
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