Like Lincoln, Like Biden
US presidents are a colorful bunch. You have George Washington who wanted to be called His Mightiness but chose to serve for only 1 term. You have Calvin Coolidge (Silent Cal) who was known to be so silent, that when a lady challenged him that it was impossible for him to say less than 3 words at a dinner, his two-word response was simply, ‘you lose’ (lol). Of course, you have the one and only Donald Trump, a businessman who brought great color to the office of the President of the United States, who was such a ‘bad boy’ he had to be impeached twice.
But in terms of endurance of a certain sorrow, none beats like President Abraham Lincoln, and now President Joe Biden.
Poverty, Struggles, Hardship
Like Lincoln, Biden grew up in poverty. Lincoln did so many odd jobs including hewing wood. Lincoln wasn’t born with a silver spoon like John F. Kennedy, the Roosevelts or Donald Trump. He was a laborer who used to hew wood with an ax for 31 cents and hour. His dad was a carpenter, and no, his mum didn’t inherit a farthing from distant rich relative. On Biden’s part, even though his dad saw some money early on, he soon lost it, and senior Biden became so poor, he had to ship Joe to go stay with grandpa and grandma.
History credits Lincoln’s character a lot to his mum, who infused in him a certain morality. In Biden’s case his mum also helped shape him into the man he became. Even though he had a stammer, she encouraged him to get over it, and not to let it define who he was.
Like Lincoln, Biden had to overcome lot’s of challenges in his speech-making. Dale Carnegie says even when Lincoln became the kind of orator that gave the Gettysburg address, there was always a certain oddness at the beginnings of his speeches. His delivery was described as wooden, lacking a certain liveliness. But Lincoln would summon energy and enter his message with energy, and win the day. In the case of Biden, vestiges of his former stutter show up from time to time. But Biden finds a way to consign that to the background. Biden recalls having to stand in front of the mirror when he was younger to practice away the stammer that caused him a lot of humiliation at his younger age. Now he tells people with stutters that they shouldn’t allow it define them.
Lincoln met Ann Rutledge and fell deeply in love with her. According to historical accounts, Lincoln was planning to marry her. But in 1835, a wave of typhoid struck New Salem. That wave killed Miss Rutledge. She was 22 years old. In Biden’s case he lost hos first wife Neilia and his daughter Naomi in a ghastly accident in 1972. And then he lost his son Beau to cancer. One of the saddest things in life is to have to bury one’s children. Biden has done that twice.
Struggle Out Of Poverty Through Law
Lincoln was lucky to one day see an old law book in a pawned-off cup board he had bought. He was too poor to go to law school, but learned that with the knowledge he had gained from the abandoned law book, he could qualify for and practice law. And so, good old Abe became a lawyer in a most unconventional way. For Biden also, law was the career he ventured into in a bid to escape poverty. That was before he like Abe, became a lawmaker.
Several Losses Before Presidential Victory
Lincoln suffered several losses in his political journey, before surprisingly winning the highest political office in the land. Similarly, Biden suffered presidential election defeat severally, before winning at the ripe ‘young age’ of 78. Both presidents came to power at tines when the country was deeply divided over the unfair treatment meted out to Afro Americans. In the case of Lincoln, he worked closely with the Abolitionists to end slavery of Afro Americans. In Biden’s case, he is working closely with the Black Lives Matter movement to root out arbitrary killings of Afro Americans by police.