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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

From 'Four Score' to 'Yes We Can!' -- By Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal



Seven score and 10 years ago, Abraham Lincoln delivered his sacred speech on the meaning of free government. Edward Everett, a former secretary of state and the principal speaker for the consecration of the Gettysburg cemetery, instantly recognized the power of the president's 272 words.

"I should be glad, if I could flatter myself," Everett wrote to Lincoln the next day, "that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

Barack Obama is not scheduled to be present at Gettysburg on Tuesday to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the address. Maybe he figured that the world would little note, nor long remember, what he said there. Maybe he thought the comparisons with the original were bound to be invidious, and rightly so.

If that's the case, it would be the beginning of wisdom for this presidency. Better late than never.

Mr. Obama's political career has always and naturally inspired thoughts about the 16th president: the lawyer from Illinois, blazing a sudden trail from obscurity to eminence; the first black president, redeeming the deep promise of the new birth of freedom. The associations create a reservoir of pride in the 44th president even among his political opponents.

 But, then, has there ever been a president who so completely over-salted his own brand as Barack Obama? "I never compare myself to Lincoln," the president told NBC's David Gregory last year. Except that he announced his presidential candidacy from the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Ill. And that he traveled by train to Washington from Philadelphia for his first inauguration along the same route Lincoln took in the spring of 1861. And that he twice swore his oaths of office on the Lincoln Bible. "Lincoln—they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me," he said in Iowa in 2011.
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