In a letter about the “experience issue” in the presidential election process, a letter writer uses Abraham Lincoln as an example of a successful president who did not bring a wealth of experience to the office.
While it is no doubt true that Lincoln had a relatively short resume from the point of view of governmental experience, the statement that Lincoln “failed at practically everything he tried from 1832 to 1858” is simply not historically accurate, and I would hasten to defend the “Greatest American” on this score.
Before he was elected president, Lincoln practiced law for 23 years in Sangamon County, Illinois. He was primarily a circuit-riding trial lawyer. He was considered one of the foremost trial lawyers in Illinois, if not the entire country. He was widely admired for his abilities and well known for his integrity.
Abraham Lincoln most decidedly did not fail as a lawyer. In fact, he is respected and revered even today as a model for how the practice of law should be conducted.
I have always been very proud to be able to say that I am a member of the profession of Abraham Lincoln.