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Presidential Candidates

October 11, 1987

All three of your Oct. 5 letter writers decrying Schroeder's weeping before reporters, when she announced her withdrawal from the Democratic nomination race, branded this as a weakness making her unfit for the presidency.

However, any serious Abraham Lincoln student is well aware that possibly our greatest President openly shed tears on many occasions. Even before he was President, as a lawyer, he could weep over the plight of a deserving client in desperate straits.

An eyewitness of Lincoln's delivery of his immortal Gettysburg Address, John Morrow, has written that after the President rose to speak, "He was deeply affected and gazed over that great battlefield . . . he was overwhelmed with emotion and could not say a word. After what seemed like a long time, the large tears began to steal down his cheeks." It was after he had regained his powers of expression, that he began to talk.

Reporters in Lincoln's day knew that he was capable of tears. This was not taken as a sign of weakness, but of tenderness.

The criteria of these letter writers are wrong. Tears are a release, as they were for Lincoln. And they, alone, do not make Schroeder incapable of coping with presidential, or any other stress.

MORT R. LEWIS

Marina del Rey

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