tv Bob Woodward on President Lincoln CSPAN March 20, 2016 8:00pm-9:03pm EDT
is main street because some any things that happened here. it is a national main street as well. aspects ofbeautiful the issues of civil war and civil rights. both in the same locale. we are want to take all the credit or all the blame. our cities to her staff recently traveled to montgomery, alabama, to learn about its rich history. you're watching american history tv, all weekend every weekend on c-span 3. next, bob coming up woodward reflects on abraham lincoln's legacy and how it has affected a number of his successors, including richard ronald reagan and barack
obama. this is about an hour. vick: i am the dean of the college of law here at the university of illinois. behalf of the law school in entire university, i am pleased to welcome you here today for the first lecture in a new series hosted by the college of law and title "the new lincoln lectures, what lincoln means in the 21st century." during this series, we will come over the next few years, bring in 10 or so ideologically diverse national thought leaders to reflect openly on lincoln's legacy and his continuing relevance 150 years after his passing. i know all of us are eager to lecture, our inaugural
bobbled word, but i want to take a few minutes to say little bit more about the lecture series itself. some ask me why the law school has decided to focus on lincoln. lincoln is probably america's lawyer. of course, lincoln played many roles, president, legislator, military strategist, newspaper owner, etc. at at his core, he was lawyer, a constitutional lawyer, who, to our collective good fortune, was there when the nation most needed someone to understand and preserve the supreme law of the land so that, as he put it, government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth. -- why easy question focus on lincoln now, a century and a half after his death? many of the themes of lincoln's life and his life's work am a treatment of race and on citizenship, the relationship between the national government and the states, the scope of
,xecutive power among others dominate discourse today nearly as much as in lincoln's era. more, we are in the midst of a presidency of another tall, skinny, illinois and whose very political ascent would likely not have been possible without lincoln. president obama twice carried essentially the same states that lincoln did, and, as was true after lincoln's death, there are big questions nowadays about whether that coalition can endure to transfer power to a key aide of the twice elected president. these mentions of illinois also easily answer questions. white here? in a real sense, the university of illinois is mr. lincoln's university. oure prepare to celebrate
own sesquicentennial next her, we must never forget that we first group of language universities created in 18 six he seven by the act signed into law by lincoln five years earlier and the only one of the original group founded [indiscernible] one of the reasons i was drawn to come to illinois to take the law -- the job as logging is to build upon the legacy of and become linked with lincoln in a way that the university of virginia is associated with thomas jefferson, who to my mind was not as great a president and not as greedy person. this test not as great a person. -- and not as great a person. why bob woodward? many consider "the new york times" the nation's country of record. -- but bober woodward is america's reporter.
mr. woodward is much more than a reporter. he is an insightful and prolific historian of, among other things, america's president. has writtenrd, he or cowritten 12 number one best-selling nonfiction books, more than any other contemporary american author. a native of illinois and a graduate of yale college, he spent five years in the navy, mr. woodward has won nearly every major american journalism award. . i am thrilled he is early enough lecturer because, one of his earlier books, "the brethren," of the first the two reveal the supreme court's works to outside impacted my decision to attend law -- law school. brethren" moree than once of the less we five years. it continues to be -- over the
last 25 years. .t continues to be relevant all of this brings me to the last question, which is the only one that is hard. how did we get mr. woodward to come share his thoughts with us this evening? the answer to that also turns out to be quite simple. we asked. long before people knew who he was, i heard he would just -- he would assiduously who he wanted or needed to talk to for a project he was working on, a person forthrightly and say, "i'm bob woodward from the washington post and i need your help." when we reached out to mr. woodward and pointed out why we needed his help on this project, he graciously obliged. above his accomplishments and towns, mr. woodward is a generous and kind man for whom it is now my privilege to turn over the podium. [applause]
bob: thank you. it's great to be here. ono not have a coat and tie because i got stranded out of washington for a week because of the snow. and the dean generously offered his best suit. and i declined. [laughter] because my daughter, who is a freshman in college said, "now you look like a real professor." underdressed. a real genuine pleasure for me to come to a law , whichor talk to lawyers i've had the opportunity to do
for many decades. my father was a lawyer here in illinois, wheaton, illinois, outside of chicago. a circuit judge and then became an appellate judge. householdaised in a where he drummed into me the following -- he said, "always carefully pay attention to the lawyers because they have the most profound and meaningful and lasting things to say, unless you listen carefully." [laughter] great advice for a journalist. i want to tell one lawyer story that actually next to lincoln in a way. this was the 1980's.
we were doing a lot of stories about the cia covert operation in the reagan administration was try to prevent us from publishing the stories. debate, a lot of handwringing. seene point, i went to edward bennett, the very famous .riminal lawyer was my personal attorney and he represented "the post." want too him and seto talk about the stuff decisions on whether to publish national security secrets. and he says, just a minute, i need to tell you something. what is that? well, i represent you, "the post," the cia
director bill casey also, personally. and i am general counsel to president reagan's foreign intelligence advisory board. wait a minute, you represent me, "the pose," the cia director, the president -- isn't there a conflict somewhere in this? and he smiled and looked at me and says, "i'd like to represent the situation. a lawyer's dream." if you look at the lincoln and the way he used his power during ,he civil war, in so many ways as a lawyer and as a president, he represented the situation. i want to identify some of the , butcteristic lincoln had
let me go through the list. first of all, lincoln excepted himself as who he was. he was a pragmatist. he had a moral center of. he had a sense of strategy. and of course, strategies trying to plan what you want to do in a year or six months. and that is -- and not just crisis manage. he also had a strategic patience. he was not in a hurry, not even on the most vital matters. he was persistent. he was ruthless as commander in chief in war. he understood deeply the importance of morale of the troops and the generals. and he understood the importance of human relations in carrying
out his office. ego, a-- he was a big giant ego. i probably had no real friends. he was probably the most activist president. he almost believed in executive supremacy. he waged the civil war without a declaration of war, as the constitution literally required. he suspended habeas corpus in various regions. said, in justifying, defending what he was doing, that it made no sense, "to lose the nation and yet preserve the constitution." in reading a number of books and doing some research about
lincoln, there is a book by joshua shakey, called "lincoln's melancholy." -- and theres is is some truth to this i think, that lincoln had melancholy. think, a few examine into deeper, maybe that melancholy was really a habit of introspection. , "lincoln'sook melancholy," he said the following which i found quite straight game. "what primarily accounted for lincoln's and -- increasing success and his vital relevance was not his own growth to a place where he could speak to the country's need, but the country's regression to a place where lincoln was needed."
for mestant who looks look through all of this and said, you know, lincoln was in many ways like the batman of christian full normal -- nolan's trilogy, not the hero we deserve, but the hero that we needed. i think that's true. lincoln was the most modern of the presidents. now, in 2016, if you look at the politics of this country, we are at a pivot point in history. and it is vital that the next president, whoever that might things right and get the important things right, or at least comprehend the dimensions, impact and meaning of failure to get those important things right.
over 40 years of writing about presidents and trying to understand them, i have asked myself the question -- what is the job of the president? that the job of the president is to figure out what the next stage of good is for the majority of people in the country. and carryop a plan out that plan. and it must be the next stage of good for a real majority, not one party or one interest group. realize that this notion i had been using for a long time was one of the points lincoln made in one of his speeches. february 1860, as president-elect.
lincoln said the following, "i hold that, while man exists, it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind and entering intoout the details of the question now, i will say that i am for those means which will leave the greatest good to the greatest number. true, america is the last great hope, as lincoln said. but i think lincoln realized that failure was possible. the country was young when he was president and not yet powerful. america was an experiment. , in 2016, theow experiment is not over.
what i would like to do is review the eighth president i have worked on and extract and distill out what they may have learned from lincoln or maybe should have learned from lincoln. one scholar said the following about lincoln. "what gave lincoln his enormous strength in relation to others was that he had learned early in life to accept himself. he knew that he was ugly, society, onkward in top, except by himself, and, as a congressman for one term, unsuccessful. the great point was that he did not resent those deficiencies.
he neither tried to cover them up no or referred to them continuously from embarrassment. they were a part of him and he accepted all of himself as inevitable, as a fact of nature. realization freed him from some of the demons that have plagued other presidents. i think specifically of richard nixon, which i will get to and dwell on probably too long. [laughter] lincoln was a pragmatist in an important way. "ourf the things he said government rests in public opinion -- whoever can change public opinion can change the government.
what he did was identified the essential element of democracy. with publicd, " sentiment, nothing can fail. succeed.t, nothing can consequently, he who molds public sealed cement -- public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts laws or declares decisions." part of what he did and how he handled the press during the , he makes a number of important points. this is reflective of the pragmatism. he did not initiate press suppression. he remained ambivalent about his
execution. but he seldom intervened to prevent it. he let it go. he said and made it very clear has the secretary of war my authority to exercise the executive discretion on this matter. saying he his way of represented the situation and he was going to delegate it to somebody else a cousin it was a and heat was difficult kept his hands off it directly. the most important part about lincoln, of course, is that he had a moral center. sense of strategy, strategic patience, as a mentioned. the great achievement, the emancipation proclamation, if
you look at the histories of this, what he did, he reeled it out over a long period of time. he didn't just declare it. he had meetings with reporters and editors. there were coordinated weeks. imagine that. to freed blacks or to religious leaders. this went on from july to september of 1862. he knew he needed a military victory or success and he waited until he got it. then, he announced he was going to free the slaves on january 1 if the rebellion did not end. it of course did not end. and the military order, which is
was,the emancipation really was an invitation to slaves to leave their masters. had hisgmatism that he something to measure now candidates by. deep fornt far and lincoln. lincolnlliams said that would not have been able to comprehend the attempts of modern writers to classify his ideas into an ideology. indeed, he would have not known what an ideology was. sayings quotes lincoln "my policy is to have no policy ." the way heant to conducted not just the war, but
everything else. is veryonducted the war instructive and i think important as we start looking at some of the last presidents. lincoln.ted supportedmanitarian the scorched-earth economic strategy carried out by grant and general sherman. and agreed that brutal aggression was the only way to .ubdue the rebellion lincoln did not like war. he thought it was terrible. a larger purpose and the strategy to save the union was key to this. he also understood the importance of morale for everyone, in that country in the
military. 1863, he wrote union general meet a letter after mead had failed to pursue generally following union victories in .ettysburg and vicksburg so what the letter said was the general, i dodear not believe you appreciate the magnitude of the misfortune and walt in lee's escape -- involved in lee's escape. he was within your easy grasp. and to enclose upon him with connection without other late successes would have ended the war. as it is, the war will be prolonged indefinitely. i am distressed immeasurably because of it. did -- whatn
lincoln did was he didn't send the letter. he realized it would be too graphic an attack on the general. i sometimes have thought, if we could get the unset letters or presidents or presidential candidates, we would learn a great deal about them. we would also learn that it is important sometimes to write and not lingert on them. the other important part, and this is the core aspect of lincoln, how he understood the importance of human relationship. themember sometime in 1990's, katharine graham, who had been the owner and publisher of the "washington post" for
years, was working on her autobiography. i ran into her and she said, oh, the weirdest thing happened last night. i was at a reception and jimmy carter, the former president was there. and carter came up to her and put out his hand and said, oh, mrs. grant, i admire you so much. i like you so much. me --s. graham said to you know what i thought? what the fuck? [laughter] academic are in an environment where we can quote people accurately. she said, now think of this. we fought with carter and his administration for years. , wewhole time he was there
couldn't find out what was going on. there was no real relationship. and then she made the larger point, which is critical. she said, you know, it's hard not to like someone who says they like you. true. you are in disagreement with somebody or you are negotiating with them and they say, you know, i like you, not all the barriers come down, but some of them. lincoln realized this in so many ways. when he was a private lawyer in the 1850's, he was involved in a lawsuit where edwin stanton, the country's foremost lawyer was involved in this case in ohio. and stanton and lincoln -- lincoln learned stanton would speak very negatively about lincoln and call him privately a
backwoods bumpkin. stanton was a democrat and he later practiced law in washington and there was still this bad mouthing of lincoln the whole time. and what did lincoln do? he appointed stanton secretary of war. and it turned out that stanton was one of the best war chiefs the united states ever had. after lincoln was assassinated, it was stanton who said, as he is remembered, "now he belongs to the ages." and so lincoln was able to bring people, even an enemy, close to him and use them for his purpose. relations,of human much is talked about in the
secondn'sout inaugural address. if you look at it in the context of pragmatism and human thations, and read what second inaugural said, with malice toward none, with charity towards all, with firmness in the right is god gives us to see the right. theus strive on to finish work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne and carried the battle, and for his widow and for his orphan. to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. that is just pragmatism.
that is human understanding. in eight presidents i have tried to understand and write about, 1968, accepting the republican nomination for president, nixon said the following. "the next president will face challenges which in some ways will be greater than those of washington or lincoln. say fromng thing to somebody who has been nominated to run in one party. nixon's argument was, well, we are at or abroad and at half. and then he said, "the long dark night for america is about to end."
.et me read that again nixon, august 8, 1968, "the long dark night for america is about to end." onwas six years to the day august 8, 1974, that nixon announced his resignation. and it was gerald ford who responded to the nixon resignation in watergate by saying, "our long national nightmare is over." [laughter] 29, 1974, before nixon was -- he was three months of febefe resigning. nixon invoked lincoln in
to notng his argument comply with the subpoena. lincoln at an equivalent time in his presence was being subjected to unmerciful attack. a book i did in the fall called the last of the president's men about alexander butterfield, who peeping systems and spirited away thousands of documents from the white house, the nixon white house, that he gave to me. now you sit and dream is a somebody spiriting thousands of documents out of the white house. and among the documents that anderfield took
butterfield's account of what happened -- i think it was christmas 19 69, nixon was president and went for a tour of in executive staff offices the office building next to the white house. and he discovered that there were about a dozen support staff who had victors of john f. kennedy in their office. nixon went bananas. called that her field in who was deputy chief of staff at the time. an interest in of kennedy pictures. i want them out. i want the replaced with -- you guessed it -- next and pictures." butterfield launched an investigation of this and was able to persuade people that it , that it wasr
suggestive way disloyal if you had pictures of other presidents in your office. i was kind of skeptical of the story. and then there's the document that butterfield wrote directly to the president. the subject was sanitization of .he executive office building sanitization, as if there was because staff people had pictures of another president. think lincoln's response would have been if he discovered that there were staff people in the white house or the government who had portraits of george washington or thomas jefferson? andink it is unthinkable
this inability -- and if you story, you see that he is not accommodated to the idea of who he is, the opposite of lincoln. when gerald ford became the next year, one of the things he said, again, contradicting nixon, "none of our problems today are as severe as though -- as those facing lincoln." he quoted one of the things lincoln said of one of force natural spontaneous statements -- ford's natural spontaneous statements of humility. when a dispute with congress, he said, well, lincoln said the following.
we of the congress in this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. ford also set of lincoln that his compassion, lincoln's compassion for others came from an understanding of himself. kind of merging somewhat of the pragmatism and the strategic sense of what the , an excellent example of this is gerald ford. it was number, 1974. ford had been president about one month. on television. some of you may remember this.
and said he was giving nixon a full pardon for watergate. and any other crime he may have committed. ford, of course, went on television early on a sunday morning, hoping no one noticed. was widely noticed, but not by may. i was asleep and my colleague, carl bernstein, called me up and said, have you heard? i said i haven't heard a thing. i was asleep. and karl, who then and still has the ability to save what occurs with the most drama is the sone ofords said, "the a bitch pardoned the son of a bitch." [laughter] outi was able to figure what had occurred. i thought perfect.
nixon goes free. they only want to get a watergate pardon. it is the ultimate corruption. you look at the polling at the suspicions about the pardon, that was a widely held view. and you can argue and i think historians of the 1976 election, when ford lost to jimmy carter, that the pardon had an aroma that there was a deal that something really untoward had occurred. and i believe this. convictional strong that this was in a sense the perfect corruption of watergate. then 25 years later, i undertook one of my projects, which became a book called shadow of the
legacy of watergate and the presidencies of ford through clinton. and i called him gerald ford. i had never met him. i had never interviewed him. i asked to talk to him about the pardon. .nd he said sure, come on up he was in new york at a board meeting. , toi had the luxury of time full-time assistance. we looked at all the contemporary coverage of the pardon, got all the memoirs, got the legal memos from the ford library. i kept going back to interview ford. and to try to piece together what happened. innterviewed him in colorado number of times, where he had a home, and many times add his main home at rancho mirage, california. i remember the last interview asking him why did you pardon
nixon? he said, you keep asking that question. but i don't think you've answered it. and then he said, astonishingly, ok, i'm going to tell you. said what happened is that al haig, and's chief of staff, came and offered me a deal. he said, if you guarantee that the president will get a pardon, he will resign and you get the presidency. however, iid, rejected that deal. i knew i was going to become president. nixon was finished. work's no way he could that deal in the way haig described. passionately, he said, look, let
me tell you what happened. at that time, ford had a letter from the watergate prosecutors saying that in the sin is going to be investigated as -- that nixon is going to be investigated as a citizen, likely will be tried, probably convicted and go to jail. so if we are going to have two more years of watergate, the country could not stand it. and there was this plaintive tone that he had of i needed my own president. the cold war was still going on. the economy was in great ranger. and then he said he acted preemptively to get nixon off the front page and out of our lives. and i remember writing this part
about the pardon and realizing ford was right. what he did was quite gutsy. and this is in the book. came out,book caroline kennedy, the daughter of john f. kennedy called me up know, i've read your book. .y uncle has read it we agree and we are going to the profiles in courage award that is given out by the kennedy library once a year. and it is not going to be an award for being president or for being gerald ford. it is going to be for the single act of pardoning richard nixon. tradition -- in the tradition of her late father , about politicians who do things that are contrary to
in thewn interest national interest. i did not go to the ceremony, but i watched it and it was a cold shower for me. -- because teddy kennedy got up and said, look, at the time of the pardon, i did now stay almost as a criminal act. and now, 25 or so years later, you look at it and you realize it was exactly in the tradition "profilesher's book in courage." i remember watching this and convinced it i was was an act of maximum corruption, the pardon was.
then it is examined many years later, dispassionately. and what looked like correction actually is an act of courage. and that is sobering for .omebody in my business you can say, oh yeah, this war made no sense. this was a good war and so forth. and in the decades go by and it may look much differently. carter, as somebody using december 1979, as he was gearing up to run for reelection, in one of his speeches, carter said, at the height of the civil war, lincoln said, "i have but one task and that is to save the union. then carter went on to compare
his responsibility in getting as 50 iranian hostages out the same problem. he said he would devote his concerted efforts to that. you look again at the histories of this and jimmy carter became the best with 50 americans. and to compare it with lincoln's efforts in the civil war to save the union doesn't quite parse. in 1978,e same time, carter is president, any of you remember what he did at camp david when he invited menachem then and and war saddam, egyptian -- and and war's a dot, the egyptian president and took
them to camp david and they kind of peace treaty. it did not solve the problems in the middle east, but it was a big step forward. i remember i was amazed at what carter did and the persistence of doing this. i asked one of carter's aides well, how did people this soft? off?ll this and the aid that was very close to carter said, look, if you had at camp davisay with jimmy carter for 13 days, you, too, would have signed anything area -- anything. [laughter] persistence can sometimes achieve great things. ronald reagan, what is interesting about reagan and -- reagan and
, reagan understood abraham lincoln. 17, 1980 at the republican convention, reagan accepts the nomination. and he quotes lincoln. said "noent lincoln administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly and seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." then reagan said, "if mr. lincoln could see what's happened in this country in the last three and a half years, he might hedge on that statement." in other words, the carter years.
said in his inaugural, in 1981, "whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of america will find it in the life of his family can -- of abraham lincoln." true. i think he got it. when reagan was running he said, i want president lincoln. lincoln said, "we must distance are all ourselves from the past and then we will save our country." and reagan went on to say, "four years ago, that's what we did. we saved the country."
reagan says that he shared many points of philosophy with lincoln. a couple of times, he called him -- abraham.am heard president george bush senior dualityo understand the of lincoln. he said, if you look at some of the paintings of lincoln, you see his "agony and his greatness." and he equates the two. senior,also says, bush lincoln was at once a hard and gentle person, a man of grief and yet of humor. president clinton used lincoln and said lincoln saw
that it was the clear duty was to revive the american dream area then clinton said now the responsibility is to revive the american economy. one thing my assistant found in january 1990 eight, president clinton was here at the university of illinois talking about the land-grant colleges. it was not a particularly memorable speech. , it is hard tot believe this happened, but it did. clinton said, oh, i think lincoln would have liked the pep band. [laughter] i did a little checking and someone said he spotted someone
he liked in the pep band. [laughter] will never know. bush will, as president, talked about lincoln quite a bit. i did for books on. -- on george .. bush's wars in iraq he is trying to explain what his and he saider 9/11 the following. "i am product of the vietnam era. i remember presidents trying to wage wars that were very unpopular and the nation split. he then points added pictures -- at a portrait of abraham lincoln
that hung in the oval office and on the wall is because the job of the president is to unite the nation. that's the job of the president ." , asident obama on lincoln month after obama's non-euro he just said, "lincoln made my own .tory possible and that is exactly true. i remember interviewing president obama about the afghan war for a book i did called obama's wars in 2010 about the decisions obama made. year not toke this
-- i sent him a 15-page memo saying this is what i would like .o ask about obama every president now lives in an environment where there are two questions. there are the press conferences, the shouted questions and there is a kind of gotcha environment. so when you send a long memo saying i've worked for a year on this and i would like to talk to ,ou and here are the questions presidents tend to respond. so when i am interviewing him about afghanistan and what his decisions were, you may recall he orderedt year 30,000 more american troops to the afghan war. to ascertain how he looked at war.
because i am convinced it is very important that presidents be tough in their articulation of what the united states will do and what it will do to preserve its interests. so at the end of the interview, i handed president obama a quote formerbook from a colleague at "the washington post," rick -- in the middle of the book, rick pulls back and says i'm going to tell you about war. and this is the quote that i handed obama. it said essentially that war corrupts everything. that no hard leaves war and
stained because it is the necessary call of killing other people. and obama said i'm sympathetic to this. he said go read my nobel prize acceptance speech. i had seen the nobel prize acceptance speech. i've read it and i have understood it. it happens to me too often. so i went home and got out the speech. english,, in plain obama says, yeah, wars sometimes itessary, but then he said is always an expression and manifestation of human folly. and i realized at that point he just does not like war. and the problem is, when you are
involved in a war as commander in chief, you've got to really be tough. a couple of years ago, i was having breakfast with a world leader, head of government of one of our closest allies. and i asked about obama. he said, obama is so smart and i like him. but then he said, but no one is afraid of him. and my heart sank because i realized that the distaste, the disgust for war looms so large with obama that he has not conveyed the message of fear. which is what a leader must do. what is interesting is lincoln was the master of this. lincoln was the one who knew
that general sherman's march through georgia was necessary to win the war. the other interesting thing about lincoln is that he was a fatalist. this idea that events are inevitable and kind of predetermined is kind of the mystique about him. 2005. i was giving a talk like this in washington. and hillary clinton, then senator from new york, was there also giving a speech. and after the speeches, we chatted and she said, oh, i quote from one of your books on bush so often that i think i should pay you royalties.
i stupidly said, no, rather than how much? [laughter] i said, what do you quote. the plan of attack, george bush's decision to invade iraq. it's the last line of the book. i sent questions to bush. we had done hours of specific interviews. he was standing in the oval office with his hands in his -- i'm and i just asked not quite sure how the question came to mind because it was not on the list of questions i had. willo you think history judge your iraq war? -- i think the mention
of history caused him to think about those exams in history at yale that he did not do that well on. he kind of clenched, but he takes his hands out of his -- his pockets and says history? we won't know. we'll all be dead. [laughter] a less than comforting thought. but if you think about it, it's true. the point of gerald ford. , inooks one way and then history, it may look the opposite. so i asked senator clinton, why quote that? think and talk like that and be president of the united states. what do you mean? you just can't. you've got to take charge. you got to do things.
. you can't leave it to the historians. if she evert come became president and made a big decision and someone was in the awful -- the oval office asking how history might look at [laughter] said, you cannot think and talk like that. she got quite exercise. i was pushing back a little bit. she said, you just cannot. you cannot give yourself over to those, and to make her point she said, george washington would never talk like that. really pounded her fist against it, you know, jefferson would never talk like bill would never talk like that, and i envisioned the
new mount rushmore. [laughter] jefferson, bill and maybe hillary. [laughter] and i was going to say something, but i caught myself and thought, we will not know, we will all be dead. [laughter] there.ing to stop thank you so much. you did me a big favor by inviting me. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> absolutely wonderful. >> thank you. [applause] >> that was terrific. on behalf of the college of law in this great university of
which it is a part, i want to thank you for that elegant and profound essay, and we have a gift for you, and before we depart, i want to thank a lot of people who worked very hard to make this a worthwhile event come off so smoothly. the communications and event folks of the college of law, they put in a lot of time. i want to thank everybody and wish you a wonderful night. [applause] >> washington post journalists bob woodward reflects on abraham lincoln's legacy and how will affect another president, richard next, barack obama -- richard