Watching the movie Lincoln, I thought there were some similarities between President Abraham Lincoln and President Barack Obama. Both men were popular during their times. During the film, Mary Todd Lincoln pleads with her husband not to squander his popularity with the American people by forcing Congress to pass the 13th amendment ending slavery as the Civil War was already coming to an end.
“No one’s ever been loved so much by the people. Don’t waste that power,” Mary Todd played exceptionally by Sally Fields tells her husband. But Lincoln, portrayed forcefully by Daniel Day Lewis, looked at his wife as if to say “the future of America is more important than my popularity.” In that moment, it was clear to me Obama is no Lincoln nor will he ever be as great a president as Abe because Obama always puts his personal popularity above the good of the country.
Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward, tells the president, “It’s either the amendment or this Confederacy peace, you cannot have both.” But Lincoln did have both and risked being disliked as president to ensure not only slaves/blacks gained freedom in the United States Constitution but all men. The president knew the Emancipation Proclamation he declared using his war powers would be null and void when the war ended because freedom for all men wasn’t in the Constitution.
As the Union Army had all but vanquished the Confederacy in 1865, Lincoln ultimately got Congress to pass the 13th amendment by personally lobbying bigoted Democrat Confederates and getting some to vote in favor of ending slavery. Instead of engaging in a war of words, Lincoln personally engaged in the process.
What issue of great importance has Obama sacrificed his personal popularity? The debt ceiling, Obamacare, fiscal cliff, immigration, gun control, Benghazi? From day one of his first term, Obama showed nothing but public contempt for Republicans in every battle and having his way regardless of the impact on the country.
Unlike Lincoln, whom Obama says he admires, Obama hasn’t shown any interest in building relationships with Republicans, which was evidenced early on when no Republicans voted for Obamacare. Nor did any House Republicans vote for Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package. Only three Republican Senators voted for the stimulus.