I Am a Lincoln Republican

Photograph by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Rare is the time that a poll number makes me gasp. But there is one in the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll that elicited one. While it was no surprise to see that President Obama snared 94 percent of African Americans surveyed, the presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney got nuthin’, zilch, niente, a big fat zero percent.
— Jonathan Capehart, “NBC News-WSJ poll: Romney is not in the black — literally,” Washington Post, 22 August 2012.

On October 28, 1936, “the Republican national campaign organization in Maryland faced with thousands of colored voters to the Democratic Party, has sent $5 checks to more than 400 colored pastors in the state.” The $5 contributions were sent along with letters one of which stated, “Dear Brother: the campaign will soon end and on November 3, we will go to the poll with our congregations and vote for the party, which has been the most helpful to our people. The Republican Party.”
— “Alf Landon,” Wikipedia

Get out the checkbook.

Seventy-one years after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Neil Armstrong, 6, took his first flight in a Ford Trimotor. (Also known as the Tin Goose, not to be confused with anyone’s tin ear.)

Weeks later, Landon of Kansas went down in flames enjoying 29 percent of the colored/black/African-American vote.

Romney of Massachusetts/New Hampshire/the Cayman Islands would kill for 14.5 percent. OK, 7.25 percent. OK, 3 …

Mr. Capehart, see above, gracefully tosses the Tampaites “the standard error” in the vicinity of 4 percent.

A you-can’t-make-this-up story to gain 2012 focus:

We were voting early, on Nov. 2, 2004. (I was to vote, in Boston, and go immediately to New York City.) We dragged along the fifth-grader so she could observe that the People’s Republic was a one-party state.

We were first in line. Well, no, we were second. In front of us, clutching her purse, was a small and aged black woman. We made light conversation.

The fifth-grader acquitted herself well with a vast knowledge of soon-to-be President Kerry’s virtues. We spoke of the dominance of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts and how the children of the Commonwealth would never know a real contest.

We turned to vote, she first. And then, with vigor, this woman of another time and place, turned to me, and in a whisper of iron said, “It’s time to vote. I am a Lincoln Republican.” Discuss.

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