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Golden Bear Still Not Over Ford-Era Demons

I saw the headline to Robin Abcarian's story and thought, when did Jack Nicklaus ever lose to Doug Ford?

Turns out, it's Gerald Ford he's still upset about and it seems Mr. Nicklaus feels he kind of cost Ford a chance in 1976 by not campaigning for the former president in Ohio, thus explaining his desire to campaign for Mitt Romney this weekend.

 “He asked me to get involved and I didn’t,” Nicklaus said. “I said, ‘Mr. President, I’ve always stayed away from politics. I deal with people on both sides.’ And he respected that and he never had an issue with that, and we played a lot of golf after that. But I didn’t help him and he lost Ohio by several thousand votes. Had he won Ohio, he would have won the election. I’ve always had big regrets about that.

 “In spite of me not doing that, he paid me a great honor: I was a pallbearer at his funeral. He was such a good friend, such a nice man. That’s why I’ve gotten involved.”

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Reader Comments (34)

Tough call- easier now considering Jacks retired and 70+.
He'll make up for it by helping Romney win tomorrow, IMHO.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
So, Jack's sorry he didn't support an economically-clueless loser for the office of President of the United States, so he throws his support to a greedy plutocrat who would deepen the economic chaos of the Bush-Cheney years that we are only now beginning to see a way out of...

Stay out of politics, Jack.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterWill o'the Glen
Very interesting. Whatever one's political views, it is interesting to speculate: Say Jack helps Ford win OH, and defeat Carter. Possibly then no Reagan reaction to Carter's failure maybe not even a Reagan nomination ever. One way or the other, the 80's would have been drastically different, with obvious impacts to today's world. Amazing to see how the future potentially hinges on such small things.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Yeah maybe. But to remind our younger Shackelfordians, Ford lost primarily because he pardoned Richard Nixon and spoke this line, which set us on our perpetual path of almost always "looking forward," left-right, GOP-Dem, because of "reality":

"I deeply believe in equal justice for all Americans, whatever their station or former station. The law, whether human or divine, is no respecter of persons; but the law is a respecter of reality."

Try again, Jack.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Someone from Australia recently commented about how stunned he was at the incredible level of vitriol surrounding American politics....boy was he right. As detailed on 60 Minutes last night, sure seems doubtful we'll ever again have a functioning Senate.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I was thinking about this the other day and have come to the conclusion that Jack's biggest concern is regarding his kids/grandkids. What would the 'poor' children do if they can't suckle the teat of Jack Nicklaus INC. for the next 30-50 years. They'd have to get real jobs and stand on their own two feet. I think this is Jack's biggest concern regarding Obama and blaming him for the downturn in the golf economy, especially as it relates to building golf courses.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
I didn't know about that quote, I thought he lost because of Chevy Chase.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLudell Hogwaller
Will o' the Glen-
Shouldn't you be trolling Reddit or 4 Chan?
Pathetic- at least try to act like an adult here.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
And then there is this (from Wiki, and I assume they got this right):
Popular vote
Carter: 50.1%
Ford: 48.0%

Electoral College (270 FTW)
Carter: 297
Ford: 240
Reagan: 1

So, if Ohio had switched its 25 electoral votes to Ford:
Carter: 272
Ford: 265
Reagan: 1

Really, try again, Jack. I know you never missed a putt you had to make, in your own mind. Nicklaus partisan that I am, I can only remember one (to lose a Senior Open to Trevino?). But in this case the numbers don't lie.

Ludell: Chevy Chase did make hay while the sun shone briefly on his SNL career. Ford was a very good man, unlucky at times, but he also said in a debate with the peanut farmer that the Soviet Union didn't dominate Eastern Europe and never would under a Ford Administration. Yeah, maybe his point was that the Poles were and are a proud people, but the only reasonable reaction to that statement was, "WTF?" How many Slavs in Pennsylvania and Ohio were put off by that?

Hilltop: Nail, meet hammer.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Not to get political, but looking at the results of that election, it is amazing to see the changes since : The South - including TX, was almost 100% democratic, while Ford carried California, Oregon and Washington, which are as blue as blue can be these days. Meanwhile, NJ, Connecticut and Vermont (!!!!) went Republican, as did Illinois and Michigan. Personally that was really the first election that I can remember keeping up with - I was 10, so it is a little special from that standpoint. Politics are awful, but Democracy is pretty cool.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Only a few more hours until the lawsuits challenging results start. At least the campaign calls will stop..
Great reporting by Ky. Ford needed just 12,000 more votes in to win both Ohio and Delaware and win the electoral college. Ohio alone wouldn't have done it.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChema
Ford never deserved the POTUS role. HE backed in from getting the VP job when the great divider was shamed from office, and then ascended to the White House when Tricky Dick was caught , having created ''high crimes'' no ''misdemeanors'' there.

In reading about Ford, he abused his position relative to other Presidents, when he was out of office--that is--the Secret Service could not stand him- he used them as valets and plain old luggage haulers something the ELECTED Presidents never did.

Jack- STFU.

RE: The Southern States, including Texas.

It is very simple, that is, the Democrat v. Republican voting- just pure white flight- Johnson and the Civil Rights actions moved the meter to the GOP side in the south, and the race card has been the number one selling point of the GOP ever since.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth

The South going Democratic in '76 was an anomaly. It happened because of a strong regional pride in a native son leading the Demo ticket. Had this not been the case, the more conservative Ford would have done quite well in the South.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
2 comments. Firstly, having read Hilltop's comment, I find it very eye opening and seems logical. I find myself thinking about saving for my children (they're only 6 and 3 mind you) so it makes sense for Jack to endorse policy makers that are likely to protect inheritance for his children and grandchildren. Secondly, if you had seen my comments in an earlier Geoff's posting about Jack's endorsement for Romney, you will see that I disagree with Jack's assessment's of Romney's Presidential's capabilities. HOWEVER, in this posting, I can't fault Jack for getting involved in the process. It's a lot better than indifferent non-voters, that's for sure.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterminhvunguyen
I hope jack can help Romney win Ohio and ultimately the election. I've been in china and other Asian countries and the most socialist country in the world right now is the USA. I love this country, but this election is one of the most critical in history. Business can't survive in our country with so much burden being placed on them. Any international company needs to leave in order to compete.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Bob, I also lived and worked in Asia for the last 10+ years, I also travel to and work in Australia 3-5 times a year, and I don't see the so called socialist state in the US. Asia may do business in a free wheeling way (giving perception of free market) but it is still based on personal relationship or under the table money, it's hardly free market in a way that is fair and balanced. If the US is such a socialist country, then I'm not sure why it's still the destiny of choice for foreigners, be it corrupt officials fleeing their country, rich people wanting to ship their assets and children out of their own country that got them rich, or poor and underprivileged people. The UK, Canada and Australia may give the US a good run for the money in terms of immigration destination but that's only because their immigration policy is simpler than the US's. But that's just my observation (and I based this on my talking to local nationals on a daily basis).
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterminhvunguyen
That's a well thought out point of view. However, relative to business, if you've tried doing business in Chicago I wouldn't have to explain there is every bit of corruption here as in Asia but displayed differently. Unions, their pensions, specified work, procrastinating, lazy job efforts. The social programs of the federal govt exceed any of communist countries. Taxation on individuals is some of highest in the world. Corporate tax at 35 percent is second only to Japan. Now increased business obligations to provide health care to all. Another 4 percent income tax on wealthy for healthcare, bush tax cuts expire, state income tax, disability tax, unemployment tax, social security payments that will never come back makes that a tax. There's more too. Your position is not supported by the facts.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobbie
Do any of you people actually understand the word "socialism"? Doesn't look that way. But American political dicourse has become very imprecise in recent decades. Words from "liberal" to "conservative" -- and certainly anything subtler -- have been mangled and wrangled by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other great thinkers into meaningless slurs.

It's about time the great democracy woke up and read a book or two that was not written on the web or last week.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
So Jack blames Obama for having to fire 50% of his staff over the last 4 years? The economy was purring along so perfectly when Obama started that it could only be Obama's fault his company failed so badly.

If Jack is such a great business man like Romney then surely he could have managed to keep it growing during such tough times. Surely Jack wouldn't need to benefit from socialism with the Jack Nicklaus trail in Florida, I'm sure that will be all privately funded? Right? Hello?
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterreef
How are we socialist when the corporations own the policy makers, write the laws (good call digs) and have us so completely indebted to them, that we can't crawl our way out of our consumer shadow. And, as far as I know, corporate officers and executives still set their own salaries and compensation.

Oh yeah, corporations get direct public bailouts and consider the corporate welfare of not actually having to pay the nominal corp tax rate. I seem to recall a certain SLC Olympic something or other using more federal funds than any other US Olympics committee to construct 'necessary' hotels, retail, event centers, etc. Gee, who was that? No, couldn't have been. And guess who owned the land used for these developments?

JJ - will o' is entitled to his opinion, especially if we have to scroll through yours. A bunch of white collar types on their kids' retreat last weekend were bitching about how bad things are and how much better it will be with the new guy. Guess what...none of these guys are hurting. They all had late model luxury cars, excess money going to bank accounts with each successive paycheck (do you call what they get a paycheck? I must mean 'compensation'), and time to golf during the weekdays (while employed), even though they all played hookey from work on a Thursday Friday to take their kids camping.. Meanwhile most regular folk/bottom feeders are increasingly in the red with each check (or lack thereof).

Jackie Bear - you didn't see it coming in 2004-2005 when green fees were up to $150 - $200 at your 'accessible' open-to-the-public, country-club-for-a-day, 74.2 rating, 137 slope courses? Pretty sustainable model, eh? Maybe consider changing careers, like opening up a deli in Columbus, leave your grandkids a business that they can pass on to their grand kids. Or do you have a conflict by already endorsing a new Walmart that 'provides good jobs to good hard working folk of your community'? Course not, old jack would only promote good ol job creatin small businesses.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUbb
Robbie,you can present your so-called "facts" all you want but it's nothing more than manipulation of selective numbers. Ask political, economic, financial and social leaders around the world and let's see how many would classify the US as a socialist country.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterminhvunguyen
Nice to see that listens to

Lots of interesting comments. I wondered when "pensions" and the parasites who have them would come up.

Anyway, I thoroughly fail to see how Jack's company has done so poorly since the election of the president.

As one of the few resident lefties here, I would never conflate Wall Street with the economy (no one should). But in our Randian Universe, the titans who "live" there are all that matters. They are the givers of life, the creators of jobs for the parasites and takers, who are by definition unworthy. And if theses titans don't get their way, they retreat to Galt's Gulch on their Gulfstreams and play with themselves. The thing is, on January 23, 2009, the DJIA was 8077. After arresting the decline at a low of 6627 on March 6th, the DJIA began its march upwards. Yesterday it was 13,112. So in less than four years, the President has presided over a 98% increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Not bad for a KenyanMuslimSocialist, by any measure.

So, given that the economy for the 1% is going great, for which Jack Nicklaus works in addition to being a paid-in-full, lifetime member (deservedly so), the only thing to be said to the Golden Bear is: You must be doin' it wrong!

As for socialism, not to mention communism (really? communism?) in the United States, Werner Sombart wrote long ago that the very notion would founder on roast beef and ice cream (IIRC, but that I read that a long time ago). He was right. To quote the great Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

14th in line to vote this morning. Have a great day, everyone! Our thoughts are with our Mid-Atlantic Shackelfordians as they recover from Sandy.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
What I find funny about Nicklaus supporting Romney is that the Romney campaign has been critical of Obama for playing golf!
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris
during the final round of the 82 US Open, I think Ford came out of one the houses on the back nine to say hi to Jack...DURING THE FINAL ROUND OF THE US OPEN!....i think Jack three putted that hole or the next....which of course was maybe supporting a guy that pulled that stunt wouldnt have been so smart
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Jack's huge ego is sometimes amusing. Taking responsibility for the 1976 election marks another high-water spot.

I would agree with Jack that the current divisiveness in the nation is out of hand and that we should all work towards changing it. But he's blind if he thinks the most destructive energies are coming from the left. A year ago Romney seemed like a sensible, middle-of-the-road man. But after caving in to the unhinged right and conducting nonstop smear campaigns, first against his own in the primaries and then right to the president's face in the debates, he is hardly what you would call an honorable fellow now. I'm sorry to see Jack get involved with such a creep.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterClaude
Reading these comments provides great comic relief. One understands why the political campaign is so negative. Re-read the comments on this page. We are all negative, excruciatingly negative. So the politicians are simply following us. And I will add - I love a good negative television commercial. Also, just read an article about how this year ani't nothing compared to the election of 1800. LOL

11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim Beckner
Jack can build a private course for Romney on one of his estates. Romney will need a distraction, since he'll be done with politics later today.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
So Nicklaus is blaming the golf building swoon on Obama? That's birther material right there.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterG
'' To quote the great Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means''

Man, what a great morning, with wonderful thoughts abounding. Thanks, Ky.

The one derivative (pun intended) of the last decade or 2 is: If you keep saying it, then people start to believe it, and just like the ''34'' rules of golf, still within that ''one'' I cited, is-- you can get away with anything right in front of anyone, if you have plausible deniability, or hell, just deny it in the face of the facts...look what Cheney/Bush DID, vs WHAT THEY SAID. People ate that crap up, and Romney is out there right now, trying to be Bush III---and in the face of the facts they see, some people are still believing what they hear.

Obama has not been a godsend, but he has not been a socialist selling grifter either. We can keep things heading back on track, or we can take a chance that ...THIS TIME- this time- the GOP doofus is not a liar- but we already know he is.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
It seems that Jack may get a program for landscaping services, as he sees doom and gloom for golf course construction if O wins. Well, he won.

My prediction: doom and gloom for the overbuilt, overpriced world of Jack courses, but a moderate return to locally designed golf courses.

Congratulations to Obama,if all the projections are correct.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
how would you like your crow served Jack??
11.7.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Wow, people.

I'm surprised by the classless comments. Jack got involved in politics, and because he has a different opinion than you, he's slaughtered.

Wow. It's clearly not just the Republicans who are pushing the partisanship to new levels.
11.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski

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