Then Minority Leader Ford, was appointed Vice President in 1973 to replace Spiro Agnew, because House Speaker Carl Albert and Senate Leader Mike Mansfield, both Democrats both told President Nixon that Ford had the most votes and trust of any Republican in Congress. And would be someone that both Democrats and Republicans would vote to confirm in both the House and Senate. As he was confirmed by both the House and Senate overwhelmingly for Vice President in December 1973. And as it turns out Gerry Ford was the right choice if not best choice to be Vice President, because of his credibility with Congress and the country.
When Gerry Ford became Vice President in 1973, both Democrats knew that he was going to be the next President of the United States. As well as the media, because they all knew that Richard Nixon's days as President were numbered, that he wouldn't finish out his term as President. And what was about to come down and came down in 1974 in the Watergate scandal points that out perfectly. So appointing Ford as Vice President, President Nixon also probably knew or believed that he was appointing the next President of the United States as well.