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Political veteran Seward had been the Republican front-runner in 1860, but the nomination went to dark horse Lincoln _ a backwoods lawyer who had served just a single term in the U.S. House and lost two campaigns for U.S. Senate. Lincoln brought many opponents into his presidential fold, including Seward, whom he chose as secretary of state, “not unlike Barack Obama did with Hillary Clinton now as our secretary of state,” Spielberg said.

Goodwin’s study of the unlikely alliances Lincoln formed was critical to Day-Lewis‘ approach to capturing the character of a leader who used his soft-spoken gifts as storyteller and raconteur to disarm critics and coax them toward his way of thinking.

“The central premise of that book is terribly important in the clue that it gives you to the temperament of that man, who could set aside what for all of us might be a sense of wounded pride or a sense of dignity that’s been bruised in some way,” Day-Lewis said. “He knew that he was regarded with almost complete contempt by most of those people that he appointed, and yet he could see beyond that, and it wasn’t with the rather petty-minded platitude of `keep your enemies close.’

“It was more to do with a generous understanding of what the value of those individuals was at a vital time.”

Lincoln” opens in limited release Nov. 9 and nationwide Nov. 16, just after the U.S. presidential election.

Spielberg knew he would be doing interviews leading up the election and that the story of Lincoln’s “house divided” would draw comparisons to the gridlock in federal government today.

“But we all made the conscious decision to come out after the election for no other reason than Lincoln has his place,” Spielberg said. “Lincoln is relevant to all of us today, but he had his place and he had his time, and we wanted Lincoln to have his place and his time outside or just after the election cycle.”

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Online:

http://thelincolnmovie.com