Similar Personnel, Different Approaches: Bush and Ford





Gerald R. Ford's administration passed from the scene relatively quickly in the 1970s, but, like much of the decade's popular culture, it left an imprint that would be felt for years to come. In fact, when George W. Bush arrived at the Oval Office 24 years later, it felt at first as if he were shooting a remake of the Ford White House.

Ford's White House chief of staff, Dick Cheney, was now vice president. Ford's defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld, was again the master of the Pentagon. Young aides who had learned the Washington game under the 38th president -- such as Paul H. O'Neill, John W. Snow and Stephen J. Hadley -- were to head the Treasury Department or National Security Council for the 43rd chief executive.

There were other familiar faces as well. James A. Baker III, who as Ford's campaign manager saved his nomination from an insurgent Ronald Reagan in 1976, had come to the rescue when Bush's election headed into recount overtime. And Alan Greenspan, a Ford economic adviser, was the incumbent Federal Reserve chairman who would help Bush sell his signature $1.35 trillion tax-cut program, a far cry from the $10 billion in tax cuts promised by Greenspan's onetime mentor, Ford.

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