Today is Lincoln’s Birthday and although I cannot take you to Kansas to hear James M. McPherson speak about Abraham Lincoln at the Dole Institute, I can at least give you a taste of the depth of his thinking. Topic: What is it about Lincoln that fascinates us?

Part of the fascination is the sort of rags-to-riches, log cabin to White House image that's associated with him. Part of it is the enduring language of the greatest documents we associate with him, the Gettysburg Address, the Second Inaugural and several others. Part of it is his association with the war, which also has its own fascination, as you know. It's hard to say why he stands out so far above everybody else in popular fascination.

Thank you, thank you. Here is your speaking fee, sir. And see you again next year!