Horace Greeley, for those who don't or remember know their history, was the stridently abolitionist editor of the New York Tribune who in August 1862 wrote an open letter to Abraham Lincoln to tell him that anti-slavery voters like himself, whose votes gave Lincoln the 1860 election, were deeply disappointed he hadn't acted more decisively to free the slaves.
To this Lincoln famously responded:
If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I don't believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be error; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
It was the answer of a super pragmatist. He had one goal, keeping the "united" in United States, and would take whatever approach achieved it.
Lincoln is clearly Obama's presidential hero, the commander-in-chief he most aspires to emulate. He has told us more than once he's reading Lincoln now and draws comfort and inspiration from him.
So Obama, as Lincoln did with Greeley, is sending a message. He will be pragmatic. He will do whatever it takes to get the job done. -Frank James, The Swamp
Very true. It also tells us that Obama does not see himself as a mere placeholder. He intends to attempt dramatic changes. From early posturing, it seems to be heading that way, with the Baucus Health plan and talks of attempting to solve Kashmir and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict... It will be interesting to watch.