Obama diss: President snubs historic Gettysburg 150th anniversary ceremony

President Barack Obama talks with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on the patio outside the Oval Office, May 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)President Barack Obama talks with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on the patio outside the Oval Office, May 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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It would have offered the president an opportunity to give a triumphant speech celebrating American values — the type of speech that rallied voters during his presidential run — and would have allowed Mr. Obama to pay personal tribute to fellow Illinoisan Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Obama speaks often about his admiration for the 16th president. He even used the Lincoln Bible for both of his inauguration ceremonies, in 2009 and early this year.

By rejecting the invitation, the president has personally offended some in the Keystone State.

Writing for the Patriot News, journalist Donald Gilliland called Mr. Obama’s decision “nothing less than a profile in cowardice.”

“In the end, Barack Obama simply didn’t have the stones. It’s sad. And telling. History will note that Lincoln’s legacy did not live up to the challenge,” he wrote.

In an editorial, the York Daily Record said the president clearly “is uninterested or unwilling” to visit and called that “deeply disappointing.”

“Symbolism matters,” the paper wrote Thursday. “President Obama could have used this occasion to offer words of healing and reconciliation — as his Illinois forefather once did. Instead, he is sending us a little-known Cabinet member to do the job of a president, of a statesman, of an orator. Unacceptable. President Obama’s retreat from Gettysburg will linger long and bitter. We beg him to reconsider.”

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