He was forthright about his scrubness. Earnest, even. He also suggested that perhaps she was joking about wanting to marry him -- not that he would want her to be, of course not. It's just that she must have been joking about marrying a man as unfit as himself. Right? Riiiiight?
Either Owens was convinced, or she decided she didn't wanna marry this disingenuous asshole anyway. Whatever the case, she took the hint, and the incorrigible Lincoln had got himself out of yet another jam.
He Once Mocked A Political Opponent Until The Guy Broke Down In Tears
It says a lot about Abraham Lincoln's natural charm that he could bully and harass an opponent during an important political debate and still come out looking like a winner. Early in his time in the House of Representatives, Lincoln was up against Jesse B. Thomas, who spoke first in the debate, and really ripped into Abe and his political allies. Rather than rebutting his opponent's remarks with actual arguments, Lincoln chose instead to borrow the tactics of future high school bullies by mimicking Thomas. Lincoln got up on stage and mocked Thomas' voice, gestures, and gait, which got a huge response from the audience.
Jesse B. Thomas was described as "ordinarily sensitive," and tradition decreed that he had to sit silently and watch as Lincoln cruelly mocked him to uproarious applause. Had gym class existed back then, Thomas would have definitely been getting flashbacks to it. Lincoln kept pressing until Thomas burst into tears, a political anti-power move from which there is no coming back. The media referred to it as a "skinning," and Lincoln was the talk of the town.
Senate Historical Office
This man. Blubbering like a baby.
Now, Lincoln did track Thomas down for an apology, which was nice ... but then Thomas had to watch the man who publicly ridiculed him go on to become president of the United States.
Lincoln Won A Debate Just By Ripping His Opponent's Shirt Open
Some speculate that Lincoln may have had Marfan syndrome, a disease that causes elongation of the body. While that's yet to be confirmed, we do know that at least one part of Lincoln's anatomy was oversized: his balls.
An early political opponent of Lincoln was Democrat Colonel Edmund Dick Taylor, whose middle name was not unearned. Taylor loved to lambaste Lincoln and his Whig Party for "aristocratic proclivities," and he might have had a point. Beard conditioner ain't free. However, Lincoln was fully aware that Colonel Dick and his Democratic Party were also big spenders. As one of history's greatest orators, Lincoln definitely had the ability to take down Taylor's argument piece by piece, exposing his opponent's hypocrisy with a reasoned and patient approach. But that's not what Lincoln did, and history is infinitely richer for it.
Instead of debating Colonel Dick, Lincoln waited until his opponent was up on stage and already started in on his takedown of those "rich big Whigs," before he sidled up behind the man, and ripped open his vest ... to reveal a fancy ruffled shirt with a massive gold chain, several seals, and all manner of other bling.
via Wiki Commons
Spoiler for the 2020 presidential debate (we hope).
Once again, this drew uproarious laughter from the audience, so Lincoln just bowed and made his exit. No need to speak at all. Rumor has it a young Emile Berliner saw this and immediately began inventing the microphone, just so somebody could drop it the next time a human being got publicly owned that hard.
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