Because this no-show is so atypical–and contrary to my uniformly negative view of Obama’s presidency–I’m tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt, and imagine there’s a good reason he’s not giving a speech in Gettysburg today.
Why? Because this is an example of what he’s good at. Giving speeches. Obama may be a failure at governing and managing, but his strength as an orator is legendary, it’s a potential safe zone to return to. Linking himself with history and destiny is his natural habit of rhetorical stagecraft.
I’d think he’d welcome an opportunity to change the subject. If anyone one needs a chance to change the conversation, it’s Obama. He could remind people of how special he is, why his presidency is important. What’s behind the decision not to appear in Gettysburg today?
WH adviser: Obama too busy for 150th anniversary of Gettysburg because of ObamaCare, or something
This gem comes from Dan Pfeiffer, Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications, who most recently compared Republicans to suicide bombers for trying to derail ObamaCare through the budget process. Suddenly, though, the ObamaCare debacle seems to be a lot more critical than Pfeiffer admitted in September. Today, National Journal’s George Condon openly wondered what was so important on Barack Obama’s schedule that precluded him from attending the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address:
So where was Lincoln, exactly?
Where in Gettysburg, exactly, did Lincoln actually deliver his Gettysburg Address on Nov. 19, 1863? A prominent, 1912 monument to the speech by the entrance of the town’s National Cemetery leads casual observers to believe it happened there. But look closely: A nearby, vintage plaque says the speech occurred 300 yards away on the spot of another cemetery monument (to fallen soldiers). Except . . . that’s not right, either, modern research has found. The true spot, according to research backed by the National Park Service, lies along the crest of a hill just outside the gates of the cemetery, on the grounds of an older, private cemetery.
Lincoln wasn’t the keynote speaker
The dignitary who spoke before Lincoln, Edward Everett, delivered what was scheduled as the main speech of the day. The former Massachusetts governor and onetime Secretary of State took two hours navigating its 13,607 words.
The speech was really, really short
Lincoln’s speech, a mere 271 words if you use the version that’s attributed to Lincoln, took only two minutes. The New York Times reported of the Gettysburg Address: “It was delivered (or rather read from a sheet of paper which the speaker held in his hand) in a very deliberate manner, with strong emphasis, and with a most business-like air.”
Some people have had enough of the BarryObamacades in DC. Today, People shoved aside the Barry-Cades and went to view the Lincoln memorial despite Obama’s attempt to keep them out.
Whenever a free-market research or business group releases a “best and worst” list of states, my eye goes straight to the bottom: To see whether California is last or was edged out for the lowest rank by one of the other mismanaged liberal bastions. Illinois seems to exist to boost the self-esteem of Californians.
I can raise a glass of zinfandel to California’s great victory in the Mercatus Center’s recent “Freedom in the 50 States” study. The state didn’t place last. That distinction went to New York, thanks to its highest-in-the-nation tax rates and entrepreneur-crushing economic regulations. I owe an apology to residents of the Land of Lincoln.
For all the study’s detail about tax rates and regulation, this information jumps out as the most telling about New York: “9.0 percent of the state’s 2000 population, on net, left the state for another state between 2000 and 2011, the highest such figure in the nation.” Moving is the surest sign of dissatisfaction, especially when people relocate from a state that has long been an economic and cultural magnet.
Californians talk incessantly about high-tailing it to Texas or Nevada, yet New Yorkers flee at about double our rate. Migration numbers aside, I would still rank the Golden State as the Most Hopeless State. There are other studies that bolster that case, including Chief Executive magazine’s “2013 Best and Worst States for Business” that places California dead last, with New York in 49th place.
The magazine ranks states based on three categories: taxation and regulation, workforce quality, and living environment. Even with its natural advantages in the last category and high ranking in the second one, California still flopped because its officials have adopted a punitive environment in the first category. That takes some doing…