Echoes of rhetoric

Compare and contrast these statements from Obama and Lincoln.  First, Obama on healthcare Thursday:

“If there is a way of getting this done where we’re driving down costs and people are getting health insurance at an affordable rate and have choice of doctor, have flexibility in terms of their plans, and we could do that entirely through the market, I’d be happy to do it that way. If there was a way of doing it that involved more government regulation and involvement, I’m happy to do it that way as well.”

Second, Lincoln on slavery, excerpted from his letter to Horace Greeley:

“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.”

It seems that Obama is deliberately echoing Lincoln here, presumably as they both wanted to show a combination of pragmatism and resolve.  Of course (spoiler alert!) the Union was saved and all the slaves were eventually freed, but not until after Lincoln let some alone for quite a while.

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