Mr. President, you were one of my favorite Presidents. Not because of any New Deal or New Frontier, or opening China, or anything major, but because you were a real guy. The faker in office right now always attempted to portray a home-spun, folksy way about him, but everyone knows he is just a poser.
No, Mr. President, you were real. You took the job when you really didn't want it. You stepped into a cesspool of corruption and incredibly harsh events (oil embargoes, inflation, Viet Nam, etc.) and you handled it with a kind of grace that is evident in people comfortable in their own skin. I know, much has been made of your lack of grace and Chevy made a career out of hyping that, but your grace was a calm and comfortable presence that gave us an assurance that someone decent was in charge. I was only 15 when you became President, but even then I thought you were a decent guy. I liked that you were an athlete and played football. I liked that you aspired to be Speaker of the House and not President. I liked you, your wife and your dog (Liberty). When you ran against Reagan in the primary I rooted for you. I thought Reagan was a hack and still do. When you lost the election against Carter, I was disappointed, but thought you handled the transfer of power with grace and professionalism. Your eventual friendship with President Carter has solidified the opinion I had that you were a good guy. Mr. Carter is a good guy as well. The work you two did together after you both were out of office was an example of how to behave as an ex-president. Thanks for being a role model for future presidents. I only hope they will reach back into history and learn from you and emulate the class you had.