Ten Score

Official White House portrait

Official White House portrait

Today marks the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, the preserver of the Union, and the signer of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Oft reviled by his political enemies (even within his own cabinet), he is now revered by almost everyone for his ability to manage an ultimately successful war, coax cooperation from disputing factions within his party, and inspire a nation with his rhetoric.

The rhetoric, of course, was not “mere” rhetoric. It sometimes soared, but was always salted with old-fashioned and uniquely American common sense.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”

“That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.”

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

Happy Birthday indeed, Mr. President.  You are a son of whom Illinoisans and Americans may rightly be proud.

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