I'm on a Jerry Ford kick, and just read his autobiography and Ambrose's book on Nixon's last years. Interesting fact on Ford's selection as V-P in 1974. After Agnew resigned Nixon took a poll of the RNC, his Cabinet, the Senate and House Republicans to see who should replace him. The results were as follows:
1) RNC - Goldwater, Reagan, Rockefeller and Connelly approximately 50 votes each or 200 total. Ford got 9 votes.
2) Cabinet- Ford got 2 of 12, with the remaining votes split between Rodgers, Goldwater, Reagan, Rockefeller and Connelly.
3) The Senate Republicans - Ford got 1 vote.
4) House Republicans - Ford got 80 votes with 75 other votes going to the big 4.
Nixon himself wanted Connelly, and listed Reagan and Rockefeller next with Ford in 4th place.
Given this lack of support why was Ford chosen? Three reasons. First, Nixon didn't want a party fight or to make anyone unhappy, so that eliminated Reagan (whose selection would anger the RINOs) and Rockefeller (hated by conservatives). Secondly, Nixon didn't want a congressional fight over the nomination, and the Democrats (Albert and Mansfield) told Nixon they would fight if Connelly was nominated. Albert and Mansfield told Nixon the Republican they would support was Ford. Thirdly, and incredibly, Nixon thought Ford was impeachment insurance. Nixon thought that the Republicans and a few Democrats would support him staying on rather than see "Dumb as a Rock" Ford succeed him.
So why was Ford V-P? Bottom line: Because the Democrats wanted him. Nixon felt he shouldn't or couldn't fight for a stronger man. And the Democrats position was vindicated - from a partisan standpoint - by Ford Presidency and his loss in 1976.