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If any former president had access to an operational time machine, it may have been former President Gerald Ford. But his foresight would not focus on the degradation of America’s international standing or the fiscal ramifications of stagflation and untethered federal spending. Rather, it would deal with how America would elect, or more precisely, promote the first female president. When Ford visited the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa, on Oct. 18, 1989 — approximately a decade after leaving office — he was given the special chance to share with the nation’s youth the role that former presidents played in American society, after they departed from the presidency. In this setting, the former president did not have to worry about ditching and dodging around the biting journalistic questions of the day. Instead, he was asked by one young girl, “What advice would you give a young lady wanting to become president of the United States?” With a smile, the former president opened with, “Well I hope we do have a young lady at some point become president of the United States.”

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