Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Thursday, February 12, 2009
Lincoln logs
Today is the 200th birthday of America's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln (born not in Illinois, but in Kentucky,) the man Barack Obama seems most influenced by (or perhaps a close second to FDR.) Expect lots of Lincoln trivia on TV and online, and endless questions about whether President Obama can hope to hold a candle to him (after 15 days of trying, no less.)

Oh, and just to make the wingers completely crazy, today is the birthday not only of the man who led the defeat of the traiterous confederacy, but also of Charles Darwin, the guy that makes the righties hate dinosaurs... and it's the NAACP's 100th birthday, too. Sorry, wingers...

But back to Lincoln, a few interesting things online today:

From the Herald Tribune, the story of a museum dedicated to examining Lincoln's famous address at Gettysburg (a speech that lasted just a few short minutes but has lasted an eternity):


The second-floor room that overlooks Gettysburg's town square was also where Lincoln put the finishing touches on his Gettysburg Address. The concise yet powerful speech dedicated a national cemetery at the site of North America's bloodiest battle and envisioned "a new birth of freedom" in a nation divided over slavery and states' rights.

On the eve of his historic address, Lincoln was the guest of David Wills, a wealthy 32-year-old lawyer who bore the burden of coordinating the town's recovery from the three-day Battle of Gettysburg and spearheaded the Soldiers' National Cemetery.

The house where Wills lived from 1859 until his death in 1894 is now the latest addition to Gettysburg National Military Park — a museum focused on the address and the aftermath of the epic Civil War battle. The David Wills House celebrated its grand opening on Thursday, Lincoln's 200th birthday.
Meanwhile from the L.A. Times, a breakdown of the Address, from the point of view of a surly sixth grader.

The Chicago Tribune details the challenges facing Illinois in preserving Lincoln's legacy, despite the tough economic times.

And Chris Cillizza at the WaPo says the president will do the Lincoln thing today:

The president has never been terribly subtle about his admiration for and interest in Abraham Lincoln. So, it's no surprise that Obama travels to Springfield, Ill. today to deliver remarks at the 102nd Abraham Lincoln Association Annual Banquet in honor of the Great Emancipator's 200th birthday. The Fix is something of a Lincoln buff (read: nerd) and, to our mind, the best Lincoln biography out there is David Herbert Donald's "Lincoln." Fred Kaplan, who wrote a GREAT summary of the must-read Lincoln books in the Post's "Book World" over the weekend, agrees.

Meanwhile, Republicans are practically shouting from the rooftops: Hey!!! Look at OUR BROWN PEOPLE!!!

Jindal vs. Obama: The news that Bobby Jindal will deliver the official Republican response to President Barack Obama's Feb. 24 address is evidence of two things: Jindal is THE hot thing in the GOP right now and Jindal wants it to stay that way. The choice, announced yesterday by congressional GOP leaders, is evidence, explained Republican Governors Association executive director Nick Ayers, of a new way of thinking within the party. "Republicans in D.C. finally understand our message can't come from D.C.," said Ayers. "This signals a change in tone and strategy for the Party, and its the right one." It also signals that Republicans understand the need to counter Obama's historic presidency with new faces of their own -- from Michael Steele, the first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee, to Jindal, the Indian-American boy wonder governor. And, while Jindal continues to downplay any interest in a 2012 race, gigs like this one (and his keynote at the National Republican Congressional Committee dinner in March) will put him at the front of the line when the next presidential cycle rolls around -- if he wants to reconsider.
By the way, here's the full text of the Gettysburg address:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Given where his party is now, it's almost hard to believe he was a Republican...

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posted by JReid @ 8:11 AM  
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