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.
Read more at: The Wall Street Journal