Yesterday, former attorney general Alberto Gonzales gave a speech at Washington University, for which he was compensated $30,000. Gonzales agreed to answer only pre-approved questions and closed the talk to the press.
The Washington University student paper, however, printed an account of Gonzales’s address, noting that he compared his time in the Bush administration with the presidency of Lincoln:
During his speech, Gonzales repeatedly made references comparing himself and the Bush administration to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, suggesting that Lincoln was highly criticized during his presidency and is now highly revered.
According to Gonzales, the truths about his actions will be revealed in years to come.
“There is a difference between what you do and what people say you do. It’s going to take years for the entire story to be told,” said Gonzales. “If you worry about criticism you end up paralyzed and do nothing.”
The Bush-Lincoln comparison is quickly becoming one of the administration’s favorite talking points. In a recent interview with Fox News, Bush repeatedly tried to link himself with Lincoln, (falsely) claiming that the country “hated” Lincoln when he was leaving office.
More recently, Rove compared Bush to Lincoln in his ability to “get to the nub of the thing.” Conservatives including Newt Gingrich, John Gibson, David Brooks, Glenn Beck, and Rudy Giuliani have also taken up the comparison.
Historians, however, disagree. Many are actually wondering “whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.”