On October 9, 1973, Spiro Agnew, facing bribery and tax evasion charges, resigned the vice presidency. Although Nixon first wanted to nominate John Connally (who had switched parties to be his secretary of the treasury) to replace Agnew, the president knew that it would require a lengthy confirmation battle in Congress. Nixon and Gerald Ford had been good friends since they both entered Congress. A well-respected, hard-working congressman, Ford was loyal to Nixon, and most important, he would be quickly confirmed.
This cartoon shows Agnew walking on a tightrope, with Nixon, who was no longer supporting his vice president, on one side and George Brooke Beall, who was investigating Agnew, on the other side. Speaker of the House Carl Albert, who denied Agnew's request for a trial in the House of Representatives, is holding up the Constitution.