While looking for reports of Rand Paul’s speech at the Iowa GOP “Lincoln Dinner” fundraiser late last week, I ran across this observation from The Iowa Republican‘s Kevin Hall:

It’s called the “Lincoln Dinner” for a reason. Yet, there was no one single mention of Abraham Lincoln during the event.

Well, I’ve attended more than one Jefferson-Jackson dinner over the years, and don’t recall too many references in the many speeches on those occasions about the third and seventh presidents, either. But Hall adds this:

I would have been very intrigued to hear Rand Paul’s take on Abe, especially since his father showed open disdain for the Great Emancipator.

Hall included a link to a 2011 National Memo article by Avi Lenilman about Ron Paul’s argument that Lincoln’s decision to fight for the Union was a tragic mistake.

It’s a reminder that if Rand Paul really does want to be president, he’s going to need to figure out what to say not only about his own history of questionable associations and utterances, but those of his father, in whose political army he served for quite some time. Those who want to Stand With Rand, moreover, will be forced to recognize they are standing with some mighty sketchy company.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.