Thanks. What an incredible crowd. They tell me this is the biggest crowd in the history of the North.
A while back some founders got together. And I mean they were good people but they really didn’t know anything about building a country. C’mon, you know, let’s face facts. Franklin with his little glasses and Washington with those horrible dentures — it was a nightmare. They didn’t know what the hell they were doing.
So then everyone comes to me and they say, “Please help us we’re in this terrible mess.” And believe me I knew this was gonna happen because our leaders were a total disaster who didn’t have a clue how to negotiate. Not the first clue, OK. It’s crazy. And I knew em all. Millard Filmore? The guy was a trainwreck. Franklin Pierce? A complete moron. Moron. And then James Buchanan they say dressed up like a woman if you can even believe it. I could tell you stories.
I mean they’re useless but I did business with ’em because I’m a businessman. It’s what I do. I traded cotton. I traded tobacco. I built the biggest plantations in the world. In fact I’ll tell you a story. Jefferson Davis came to me and begged me — begged me to live on a beautiful plantation that I had built in Mississippi. And it was beautiful, everything top notch and luxurious. I mean not the slave cabins ’cause they’re built for slaves. But everything was great and he’s pleading with me and what am I gonna say, “No”? So I sold it to him for an unbelievable profit. Largest profit ever made on a plantation sale. Hundreds of dollars in profit all pre-Confederate, which two centuries from now will be worth around $10 billion if maybe I decide to leave any to my kids. Who knows. We’ll see. And I say that not to brag just to give you an idea what’s what.
And by the way the slaves love me. Love me. The food portions. The amount of sleep. They’re nuts about me. If they end up freed when this is all over I will win the slave vote.
Anyway our politicians are the worst, they’re total failures and they didn’t let the South go bye bye and so I pick up the paper today and I read Salmon Chase may run against me in ’64! This idiot is in my own cabinet. And I like my cabinet, most of them have terrible beards but they’re OK. They follow orders. First of all what kind of name is Salmon? Should be a harpooneer on a whaling ship with a name like that. So I thought to myself, Salmon Chase, isn’t he the guy who night and day pleaded for a job with me after I kicked his ass at the convention in 1860? It was. I even found his telegraph number, give it a try see if it works. Dot dot dash dash dash dot dash dot dot dot dash.
And I can just hear the papers: “Abraham’s attacking again. He’s saying terrible things.” No. I say what I say because I’m honest. And I’m actually doing my job. Not like those nitwits in Washington. I mean I’m out here opening a cemetery for Christ sake! And as I look at this place I’m thinking, “How could there have been so many casualties?” There’s rocks and orchards all around, if I had the time I’d develop the property, but you can’t tell me that if you call yourself a soldier and you hear a shell or something coming you couldn’t have found a place to hide. And incidentally, so what, now Meade is some kind of a great general because he defeated Pickett’s charge? You’re up on a ridge with all your cannons and everything and the other army is walking right toward you. I mean they’re literally walking. Who couldn’t win that!
The point is I’m up all hours saving the Union and then here we are in this cemetery and I’m supposed to do what? Honor the dead? They’re dead. They’re losers. How are we in debt to them? I hate to tell you, but I like the guys who didn’t die. I’ll honor some of them.
And speaking of honoring, they want me to wrap up so they can honor me at a dinner. I’m so in demand it’s insanity half the time. All I’m telling you is if you’re living everything is for you.