Source:Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum– President Richard M. Nixon (Republican, California) announcing House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford (Republican, Michigan) as his new Vice President.
“Nixon Nominates Gerald R. Ford as VP”
I don’t think President Nixon had any other real good choices for Vice President and even a strong number two. Other than maybe George H.W. Bush, Nelson Rockefeller, perhaps Bob Dole, maybe Hugh Scott the Senate Minority Leader.
President Nixon needed someone who his own party could support in Congress, so he wouldn’t be in any real trouble there. But he also needed someone the Democratic Leadership in the House and Senate would support as well. Because Congressional Democrats had solid majorities in both the House and Senate.
President Nixon needed someone who his own party would back, but also someone who the Democratic Leadership would back as well so he had enough votes to pass the House and Senate. Both chambers of Congress vote to fill any vacancy in the Vice Presidency. Not just the U.S. Senate.
Just sort of on a side note: President Nixon without mentioning Watergate and that investigation of his White House, talked about Watergate from the back door. He talked about the challenges that the country was facing and that it was time for America to move forward and look head. In other words: moved past Watergate. If Richard Nixon’s first name was Charles, instead of Richard, I would say: “Good luck, Chuck, with that.” Because that obviously wasn’t going to happen.