Obama's 'Handwritten Tribute' to Lincoln Is Longer Than Gettysburg Address

By Susan Jones | November 20, 2013 | 12:00pm EST

( - One hundred fifty years after President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, President Obama penned a handwritten tribute to President Lincoln's historic remarks, the White House blogged on Wednesday.

Notably, Obama's 276-word essay is seven words longer than Lincoln's memorable speech, based on the 269-word version transmitted by the Associated Press 150 years ago.

Obama, a Lincoln admirer, nevertheless skipped Tuesday's commemoration in Gettysburg, and his handwritten reflections appear to be an attempt to mute some of the criticism generated by his absence at yesterday's celebration.

The tribute to Lincoln begins with Obama's solo trek through the halls of power:

"In the evening, when Michelle and the girls have gone to bed, I sometimes walk down the hall to a room Abraham Lincoln used as his office. It contains an original copy of the Gettysburg Address, written in Lincoln's own hand."

(Editor's note: SNL skit material?)

Later, Obama mentions "the lines of weariness etched in (Lincoln's) face." Obama himself has been looking a bit weary recently, given the problems with his signature health insurance law.

Obama's brief tribute to Lincoln even includes a mention of "gay rights" in the context of generational "toil and sacrifice."

You can read the entire handwritten tribute to Lincoln here.

Although Obama missed the Gettysburg commemoration in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, he honored President John F. Kennedy's legacy on Wednesday, first by presenting the Medal of Freedom to various famous Americans (Kennedy established the modern version of the medal). Afterward, the Obamas planned to take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Kennedy's grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

Obama also was scheduled to give a speech on Kennedy's legacy of service at a dinner in Washington Wednesday night.

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