Enter the Spin Room

The pro-Lincoln Chicago Tribune commented:

“The Ottawa debate gave great satisfaction to our side. Mr. Lincoln, we thought, had the better of the argument, and we all came away encouraged also.”

The pro-Douglas Chicago Times also had its say. In headline style, it told its readers:

Douglas Among the People!
Lincoln Breaks down.
Enthusiasms of the People!
Lincoln’s Heart Fails Him!
Lincoln’s Legs Fail Him!
Lincoln’s Tongue Fails Him!
Lincoln Fails All Over!
The People Refuse to Support Him!
The People Laugh at Him!
Douglas the Champion of the People!

That was how it was in Chicago on August 22, 1958, the day after the first debate.

At one point during the debates, Douglas told a crowd that Lincoln had been a storekeeper who sold whisky at one time. Lincoln replied:

“But the difference between Judge Douglas and myself is just this, while I was behind the bar he was in front of it.”

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