Shh… it’s a celebration
Vail CO, Colorado
We want you to remember President Gerald Ford’s legacy.
We want to celebrate his contributions to the arts in the Vail Valley by renaming Beaver Creek’s Village Hall after Ford.
We want to elevate the distinction even more by having Vice President Dick Cheney cut the ribbon and participate in the occasion.
But we don’t want you to be there.
That’s the message organizers sent out by holding Saturday’s renaming “ceremony” closed to the public and media.
And how unfitting it seems to celebrate a former president who is often praised for his down-to-earth demeanor, his accessibility to Vail Valley residents and his utter lack of pomposity by holding an event that only the well-connected may attend.
It’s not surprising, though, given the event’s special guest, that the so-called celebration was conducted privately. Dick Cheney’s insistence on secrecy makes national headlines weekly; most recently he declared his office exempt from presidential orders that require he file required national security reports with The National Archives.
It’s also par for the course for the American Enterprise Institute, which was meeting at Beaver Creek this past weekend and which was the meeting point for Cheney and other well-known attendees like former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The annual conservative think tank that Ford founded in the ’80s has become increasingly secretive over the years. So much so that most valley residents wouldn’t even know the event was in town unless they accidentally intercepted one of Cheney’s motorcades.
Just having Cheney at the event made headlines. And that may mean a lot for Beaver Creek’s exposure.
But Ford’s association with the performing arts meant far too much to valley residents to not let them participate in the event.
” Tamara Miller for the Editorial Board