Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Political Cartoons of the 70's, part 3 - Ford

In 1975, after years of fiscal mismanagement under Mayor Lindsay's City Comptroller Abe Beame, New York City went bankrupt under new Mayor Abe Beame. (Yes, he inherited the mess that he created.) City officials begged the federal government to bail them out. President Gerald Ford initially resisted. The New York Daily News summed it up very succinctly (but not very accurately) in a famous banner headline: "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD". Eventually, the federal government did extend aid to NYC (with strings attached). But most political observers credit that headline with making Ford lose New York State (and the 1976 election) to Jimmy Carter. This was my take on New Yorkers' view of Ford at the time - as a football-helmeted King Kong terrorizing the metropolis. (Note to "The New Yorker": This is how you do a cartoon lampooning how a politician's enemies depict him. The trick is - it's got to be FUNNY. If there's no humor, then there's no satire and no irony.) - Jerry Breen www.newbreen.com

1 comment:

nimtarheel said...

I did not realize that the New York bankruptcy was a factor in Ford's loss. Many younger people now just assume that Ford lost in 1976 because he pardoned Nixon. I was just finishing college back then and I knew otherwise. One factor was that many people did not trust his running mate Bob Dole.