Regarding Kathleen Parker’s Nov. 11 column, “Too nice to be elected?”:
Consideration of the kind displayed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was not a problem during the Lincoln administration. Abraham Lincoln’s hundreds of individual acts of kindness — documented in Carl Sandburg’s four-volume history of his presidency — not only proved to be no “handicap” but were a boon. Perhaps the most prominent example was the close vote in the House to approve the 13th Amendment, passage of which Lincoln historians agree would not have occurred as early as it did without the president’s intense personal lobbying of many members of Congress.
One of Sandburg’s favorite Lincoln anecdotes was an occasion during the Civil War when a Union officer came to the White House, seeking a pass to cross Confederate lines to retrieve the body of his wife, who had drowned in a shipping accident. At their initial encounter, Lincoln was said to have lost his temper, telling the officer: “Don’t you think I have more important things to do?” However, that same evening, Lincoln appeared at the officer’s hotel room with his pass and an apology — the officer’s request “being much more important and appropriate than what most people” accosted the president for.
In an age of incivility, Mr. Romney’s “acts of kindness” are refreshing.
Craig Cotora, Kandahar, Afghanistan