"Dancing on the Cabinet Room Table!" - by Rev. Weldon Bares


The Showtime Network had a good series entitled, “First Lady,” about Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama.

The 1976 presidential election was a contest between President Gerald Ford and Governor Jimmy Carter from Georgia. It was a very close election. Jimmy Carter got 297 electoral votes and President Ford got 240 electoral votes.

Up until that time, it was the closest election since 1916. Obviously, President Ford and his family were so disappointed.

I love this story about Betty Ford, the wife of President Ford. On her last full day as the first lady, she walked into the cabinet room at the White House with nobody else around, except the photographer. She looked around and said, “I’ve always wanted to do this,” and then she took off her shoes and got up on the cabinet table, and danced.

The White House photographer, David Hume Kennedy, took some pictures, and made these comments about that day:

“The first lady removed her shoes, bounced up on a chair, then gracefully leaped onto the middle of the oblong table. The Martha Graham dancer inside of her unfolded. Mrs. Ford stood dead center beneath the chandeliers, one hand on her hip, the other extended forward. It was a real ta-da! moment. I fired off a few pictures. As quickly as she had gone up, she came down, put on her shoes, brushed her hands together and said, ‘I think that about does it.’”

I love that story. Something about it just appeals to me.

It reminds me of a verse from the Bible: “You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance. You have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy.” (Psalm 30:11) May God do that for us today!