Politics & Government

Historian: Today's politicians could learn a lot from Lincoln

As America prepares to elect a president, historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin said what the country needs is another Abraham Lincoln to lead it out of today's economic crisis.

A reflective Lincoln, who loved to surround himself with dissenting opinions to mold public policy consensus, is what's missing in today's national economic crisis, said Goodwin, the keynote speaker at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting on Nov. 11.

Lincoln welcomed and encouraged arguments among cabinet members, Goodwin said, weighing them as a point-counterpoint before taking action on a variety of issues.

"It's a basic human quality to wish for in our friends and our politicians," said Goodwin, 65.

"The ability to share credit, the ability to shoulder blame when things go badly, acknowledge errors and take responsibility for them."

Goodwin is the author of "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln." She also has researched and written books about a number of presidents, including Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt.

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