Abe Lincoln’s legacy is safe, and not just because Donald Trump talked too long Saturday. It’s that he said too little that was new or uplifting.
Running out of time to change the campaign’s dynamics, Trump’s team picked Gettysburg for a speech it touted as a possible turning point in the presidential race, just as the 1863 battle there had turned the Civil War.
But the candidate seemed to have other ideas about the proposition at hand. The result was a mash-up of conflicting themes instead of a clarion call to arms.
Part complaint, part appeal to better angels, part a contract with voters and part a list of things to do, the speech never gelled into a coherent vision. By trying to do too many things, it didn’t do any well.