The Nation: TEAM PLAYER MAKES GOOD

He is the prototypical Midwesterner —big, bluff, hearty, unassuming, everyone's favorite neighbor. Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr.—Eagle Scout, football hero, Yale Law School alumnus, 13-term Congressman, House minority leader, accidental President —never aspired to the office he inherited. Since Aug. 9, 1974, his strengths and faults have been on public display. If what makes Jimmy Carter tick still remains obscure to millions of Americans, Ford is no secret to anyone.

At this stage, Ford is unlikely to change his basic careful, conservative philosophy, but he has grown in office. He is less narrowly partisan...