Monday, February 11, 2008
Since my previous post criticized President George W. Bush for not being able to make the official kickoff of the Lincoln birth bicentennial celebrations, I thought it only fair to include this story about the ceremony Bush held last night in the White House.
It seems that every year, Ford's Theater honors Americans who most exemplify Lincoln's life and ideals, at least in the opinion of the theater's organizational directors. This year's recipients were retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Dr. Ben Carson, head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The link I've provided in the first paragraph contains the president's remarks verbatim, at least according to the news service Christian Newswire. Laura Bush also made a speech, perhaps in preparation for her address tomorrow at the Lincoln birthplace site in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
I was struck by the dignity of Mrs. Bush's remarks but found the president's comments to be crass. He claims that when people ask him whether he's seen Lincoln's ghost in the White House (reported by many guests, including Winston Churchill), that he (Bush) replies that he gave up drinking 22 years ago, causing some laughter from the audience. It's commendable and well-known that Bush gave up imbibing, but to mention it during a solemn ceremony honoring Abraham Lincoln and two other outstanding Americans was undignified, to say the least.
Perhaps it's best after all that Mrs. Bush, with her dignity and grace, will honor President Lincoln, a man who also had those qualities, so unlike our current president.
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 1:57 PM