Last winter, when Gerald Ford was putting together his energy and economic programs, he briefly pondered the proposal for a gasoline tax. Then he told his aides, "Let's forget it. A gas tax will never get through Congress."
Last week that prophecy proved to be right, by a 5-to-l margin in the House, when the Democrats brought up their own gas-tax idea. Such accurate judgments about the mood of Congress and the country are part of the President's growing stature, a phenomenon that is the subject of increasing analysis.
Ford has climbed out of the cellar in the national polls, and...