Jinx Pyle’s column on Lincoln and Obama (March 20) contains an obvious mistake. Mr. Lincoln was not a “first-term U.S. senator” when he ran for the presidency in 1860. He was never a U.S. senator. He served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois in 1847-48. In 1858, Lincoln famously lost in the campaign for the U.S. Senate from Illinois to the Democratic nominee, Stephen A. Douglas after a series of seven debates, primarily on the slavery issue. These debates gained Lincoln national prominence, helping him win the Republican nomination for president in 1860.
Mr. Pyle brings himself further discredit when he attempts to compare the “ideologies” of the two men by using the artiface of selective quotations regarding today’s political issues that wouldn’t have occured to Lincoln 150 years ago.
As Lincoln himself once said of Douglas after being accused of a belief that was later proven false “... if after 12 years in the Senate he could show such carelessness, what else could he be trusted to say?”
Stick to local history Jinx.
Jon T. Weakly