Ford's wife, Betty, who founded a pioneering treatment center after her battle with alcoholism and drugs, agreed.Ack. Those two were deeply invested in the business of seeing things as an addiction. Do we have any reason to think Gerald Ford's perceptions are "remarkable" — or even useful?
"You know, there's treatment for that kind of addiction," she told DeFrank during the same conversation in 1999. "A lot of men have gone through the treatment with a lot of success. But he won't do it, because he's in denial."
Gerald Ford... believed Clinton was charismatic, articulate, a "helluva salesman" and the best politician he'd ever seen - even better than John F. Kennedy.Ugh! I should listen to the opinions of a man who called women "skirts"? And what did he mean by "didn't miss"? Apparently, Ford "didn't miss" the "good-looking skirts" either.
But he considered Clinton a foreign-policy wimp, and sensed that he hadn't learned from mistakes in his personal life - allegations of womanizing that dogged him during the campaign for the White House.
That opinion was based on behavior Ford witnessed the weekend he hosted the Clintons in Colorado [in 1993].
"I'll tell you one thing: He didn't miss one good-looking skirt at any of the social occasions," Ford said later.
"He's got a wandering eye, I'll tell you that. Betty had the same impression; he isn't very subtle about his interest."And Ford isn't very subtle about making his "remarkable" observations. What exactly did Bill Clinton do that wasn't subtle? Be concrete. Don't just underline your assertions with verbal filler like "I'll tell you that" or trot out the lamest possible corroboration: your wife agrees with you.
Bill Clinton asked Ford for help when he got caught up in his impeachment problem:
"Bill I think you have to admit that you lied. If you do that, I think that will help - and I'll help you. If you'll admit to perjury, I'll do more," he said.Ford wanted him to confess to a crime? Clinton couldn't do that. It would have made far more sense to resign the presidency.
"I won't do that," Clinton told him. "I can't do that."
Ford was stunned by Clinton's lack of contrition. "It's a character flaw," he concluded.
Pop quiz: Gerald Ford, alive or dead?