“Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.”

— Abraham Lincoln, from the “Lincoln-Doulgas Debate at Ottawa,” as recorded in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III. Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the 16th President of the United States. See Harvard professor Nancy Koehn’s guest post for insights into the parallels between Presidents Lincoln and Obama.

Lincoln’s wisdom is also relevant for our dire times. President Obama followed his model of including former rivals in his administration. And this maxim about the importance of public sentiment speaks to the issues at the heart of today’s crisis, from flagging consumer confidence to public outrage toward Wall Street, as we noted in yesterday’s power point. –Jessica Shambora