On Sunday morning, after a slow holiday news week, the Sunday shows, like so many families, gave in to conversations about the movie of the moment, Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."
In the movie, Abraham Lincoln cajoles Congress to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, and all the guests seemed to have an idea about what Obama could learn from "Lincoln," and from other past presidents.
The suggestions included: hosting a regular cocktail hour at the White House, locking legislators in the White House, taking a cross-country train trip, playing more golf with congressional leaders, stating his case more plainly to the public, and generally being more schmoozy with Congress and also more connected to the public.
Kushner himself got the biggest laugh of the evening. The three panelists were asked what question they would ask Lincoln if he were alive “’How’d you like the movie?’ and ‘Would you be my friend?’” Kushner responded snappily. Yet even he eventually got serious about craft, discussion his long-held fascination with Lincoln. He reflected specifically on how recent reappraisals of Lincoln’s attitudes toward race and habeas corpus have judged him too harshly.
Gettysburg redress: In Gingrich's fictional version of the war, the Republicans and the South were both right
While Newt Gingrich, as a politician and historian, has a reputation for courting intellectual controversy, his fiction is far more politically attuned.
In his trilogy on the Battle of Gettysburg, Gettysburg, Grant Comes East and Never Call Retreat, Gingrich tackles the most difficult subject for a Republican politician from the South to write about, the Civil War. After all, while the Republican Party was founded, in part, to preserve the Union, much of the South still maintains the tradition of the “lost cause” and glorifies the Confederacy to this day.