(2 of 2)
Now we have a totally different pair. One of Ford's great strengths has been a lack of jealousy in wielding power. When he made his bid to be minority leader in the House, Ford told his fellow Republicans that "no man's light will be hidden under a bushel." For nine years he lived up to that pledge. At the other end of things is Rockefeller, whose sense of what is appropriate now is fine-tuned. A few hours after his swearing-in, the Vice President mused to friends that gaining public attention was something that not only did not obsess him any longer, but something that should purposefully be avoided. Even when discounted, his remark had a ring of sincerity.
Rockefeller has been counseled by some to "practice up on greeting cotton queens and weeping discreetly at foreign funerals." That is probably good advice as far as it goes. A Vice President cannot make decisions or deliver significant policy pronouncements. But quietly counseling on the issues, mustering new talent and offering personal support in a hundred ways is possible. For the first time in two decades, and perhaps in history, the times and the men seem right to provide a new dimension in presidential stewardship.