On August 9, 1974, Republican President Richard Nixon was forced to resign following the Watergate Scandal. Vice President Gerald Ford ascended to the presidency, leaving the office of vice president vacant. Under the terms of the 25th Amendment, a vice presidential vacancy is filled when the president nominates a candidate who is confirmed by both houses of Congress, which were controlled by the Democrats.
On August 20, 1974, Ford announced his nomination of former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to fill the vacancy. Ford also considered picking Tennessee Senator Howard Baker and former Republican National Committee Chairman George H.W. Bush. Rockefeller was generally considered to be a liberal Republican, and Ford decided that picking Rockefeller would help his candidacy gain support in the 1976 presidential election. Rockefeller's nomination angered many conservatives, many conservative Democrats and Republicans opposed the nomination.
The confirmation hearings for Rockefeller lasted for months, but Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st Vice President of the United States on December 19, 1974. Due to the pressure on Ford by the party conservatives, Rockefeller was ultimately passed over for the 1976 ticket, and Ford instead chose Bob Dole as his running mate. Ford, however, regretted this move later.
|1974 U.S. Senate |
|1974 U.S. House |
- Glass, Andrew (19 December 2012). "Rockefeller sworn in as vice president, Dec. 19, 1974". Politico. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- Kincade, Vance. Heirs Apparent: Solving the Vice Presidential Dilemma. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 35. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- "Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, 41st Vice President (1974-1977)". US Senate. US Senate. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- "To confirm the nomination of Nelson A. Rockefeller to be Vice-President of the U.S." govtrack.us. U.S. Senate–December 10, 1974. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
- "To agree to H.Res. 1511, confirming Nelson A. Rockefeller as Vice President of the United States". govtrack.us. U.S. House–December 19, 1974. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nelson Rockefeller.|
- Nelson Rockefeller Confirmation Hearings transcript, Ron Nessen Papers at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.
- Rockefeller's Opening Statement to Senate Rules Committee, YouTube.
- United States Congress. "1974 United States vice presidential confirmation (id: R000363)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Rockefeller Archive Center: Nelson Rockefeller, Contains details on the collection of public and private papers available to researchers at the Center.
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