Ed Morrissey has a good post on the pardon, Ford did it for all the right reasons but in retrospect it was probably not a good decision. Here a little piece but go read the entire thing.
Ford had good and understandable reasons for his decision, but it did short-circuit the one quality about America that had always made us different from other nations: our leaders were not above the law. In an era where we started to discover the worst about leaders such as Nixon, LBJ, and even JFK, we lost that sense of ourselves as a nation bound by its dedication to the Constitution and the rule of law. At that time, we needed a way to bind ourselves back to that to restore a national identity in which all could share.
And I would argue that if Ford intended the pardon as a healing gesture, it didn't work. Our politics have remained poisoned by Watergate, and I believe that the Nixon pardon has contributed to that.