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Lessons from Lincoln and everyone else
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Nov. 25, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Everyone’s talking about “Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg’s excellent new film.† I write about it in my column today which, like other commentaries, focuses on the similarities between Lincoln’s dealings with a lame-duck Congress in 1865 and Obama’s current challenge on fiscal policy.† Lincoln had to be crafty to the point of unethical in order to round up the votes he needed for the 13th Amendment.† The advice to Obama, easier said than done, is that he must be crafty and (as I, among others, have suggested) more sociable than he has been with Congress members of both parties. Jefferson, as Jon Meacham (who has a new biography of the third president just published) noted on one show this morning that every night Congress was in session, Jefferson invited a different group of members to the White House for conversation (but he never let Democrats and Federalists come over at the same time).

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