Why Obama Fears the Gettysburg Address

Obama was probably worried about getting booed.
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President Barack Obama has elected not to attend the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address on Tuesday, Nov. 19th. Instead, he will be meeting with Senators at the White House to persuade them not to impose new sanctions on Iran, and to convince them of the merits of an agreement that will allow Iran to continue to enrich uranium at low levels. No doubt, that is important–but it is also a revealing choice.

Lincoln’s speech is remembered because it expressed, simply and elegantly, why hundreds of thousands risked their lives for an idea: “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” When President Obama sought to rouse Americans to support a “targeted military strike” on Syria, he failed to move the nation. Now, he prefers to counsel the nation to accept a weak compromise with tyranny.

The contrast is striking. Obama has repeatedly likened himself to Lincoln, launching his presidential campaign from the Old State House in Springfield. He cast his candidacy as the fulfillment of the promise Lincoln made at Gettsyburg–“that all men are created equal.” Like Lincoln, Obama came up through the Illinois legislature. Like Lincoln, Obama became known for his oratory. But Lincoln’s speeches had something Obama’s never will.

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