Radio Series

President Gerald Ford

In the hot summer of 1787, the men we call our founding fathers gathered in secret at Independence Hall to create the framework for a new form of government. 100 days later they emerged... with a preamble and seven articles of the constitution, establishing three equal branches of our government: the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.

Politicans today continue to look to those founding fathers for guidance.

Gerald Ford: "I think our constitution is a proper vehicle to meet any foreign or domestic challenges we might have."

In one of a series of conversations with living former presidents, Gerald Ford sits down with Cokie Roberts to discuss his presidency and how the constitution helped put him in office.

President Jimmy Carter

It was a very different country in 1787 - the year the constitution was signed. Alexander Hamilton, one of the signers, wrote "There ought to be a capacity to provide for future contingencies as they may happen."

Watergate, the vietnam war, John F. Kennedy's assassination - these were just a few of those contingencies that tested the constitution. in the eyes of the people, the federal government suffered tremendously in those turbulent years.

Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the United States, had the job of restoring faith in that government.

In the second in a series of presidential conversations, Jimmy Carter discusses his presidency and how the constitution helped him lead.

President George Bush

Article Two of the Constitution spells out in detail the duties of the Chief Executive - but leaves the qualifications for the office remarkably vague. it says only that a president must be at least thirty-five years old and born in the United States.

There was no doubt George Herbert Walker Bush far exceeded those requirements. He was Vice-President under Ronald Reagan.

George Bush: "I made the first contact with gorbachev. I was the first official to see that we had a very different leader in the soviet union."

Ambassador to the United Nations and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Bush: "You have to deal with bad guys if you're going to get the best intelligence."

George H.W. Bush sits down with Cokie Roberts for the third in our series of conversations about the constitution and the presidency.