Hectoring Is Not Leadership

On Feb. 27, 1860, a little-known Midwesterner named Abraham Lincoln established himself as a national candidate for President by delivering an intellectually rigorous dismantling of the constitutional arguments for slavery at Cooper Union in New York City. Ever since, politicians have stood on the same podium and given immortality their best shot. It was Howard Dean's turn last week--and his Cooper Union appearance provided an inadvertent insight into the nature of his campaign.

Dean made news on two fronts. He apologized to the sons and daughters of the Confederacy, black and white, for his politically incorrect assertion that he planned...

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