I wish I loved anything as much as these people love Lincoln. I need a hobby now after I’ve seen this. Hey, I’m Dee and we’re here in Freeport, Illinois and we just got here for the Lincoln Presenters’ Convention. Now I don’t know too much about Lincoln but I know that there’s going to be like a
hundred Lincolns here en masse, and I want to see what’s up with that. Look at the Lincoln with the
Sketchers, though. He’s got Sketchers. We get together once a
year and it’s an opportunity to renew friendships, to learn what the most recent research is. We’re trying to keep the legacy of Lincoln alive. Abraham Lincoln is basically the most famous American president of all time. Presidential experts within the American Political Science Association, aka a super smart group of political science scholars, ranked him as the greatest president ever in a 2018 poll. So we all know that Lincoln basics. We know he’s a dude on the penny. We know he was tall. My man is iconic. He’s had Daniel Day Lewis playing him in an Oscar winning epic. And we’ve also seen him hunt down vampires on the side. Oh and he helped free the slaves and gave some poppin ass speeches.That government of the people, by thepeople, for the people shall notperish from the Earth.I want to give a toast at the convention’s gala on Saturday. I’m hoping I can learn enough by the end of the convention to give a speech like Lincoln. Freeport, Illinois was the site of a super famous debate Lincoln had with Stephen Douglas and it feels like not much has happened since. Freeport is filled with of a lot of Lincoln memorabilia. I’m talking statues, street names, and storefronts. I wanted to know what the locals thought of all this Lincoln craziness. When I lived in Florida for about a year and a half they don’t celebrate Lincoln’s birthday down there which just seems so odd to me because growing up in Illinois, you know, Lincoln is just second nature here. How do you feel about that? That people still want to keep that history alive? It’s been over 150 years. That’s awesome because I mean it’s not like Freeport is on the map for a lot of things. It’s overkill. I get it. He came here. I get that. But come into the 21st century, do stuff that people are really interested in. Get us a mall here. You know, we don’t even
have a shopping center. Would you guys ever go to a convention like this? Do you want my honest answer? Absolutely. No. People will say, “How come you’re doing Lincoln?” I said, “Well, look at the face.” Yeah. I was walking down the high school hallway, the student yelled, “Abe!” and I turned around and I gave him the raspberry. So I said, “You don’t go in the hall and you don’t disrespect teachers.” He said, “No disrespect, man. You always acted like him. -Now you look like him.”
-Oh my god. Group C, we need to get on the bus. What does it mean to be a president to you? We study hard. We work at being as authentic as we can in front of our audience. Lincoln didn’t smoke. He didn’t drink.Those are big shoes to fill.Those are way too big.If people see me out boozing it up, smoking cigars or whatever, that ruins the image. Full the fucking beards are real. There’s probably one
beard that’s fake. But all the beards are real. They walk around looking like Lincoln everyday. So can you list some qualities that Lincoln embodied? Always be truthful. Always choose right over wrong. Mary, find your Abe. I think I’m going to start
rocking a bonnet after this.She was a very intelligentwoman.She had more education than herhusband.So she was very helpful to him in advancing his career. So I notice you guys have separate lunches. The ladies’ lunch is here and then they’re holding their own. Absolutely. -It’s a sisterhood.
-Yes! I love it! That’s one thing that Mr. Lincoln
didn’t have, was an ego. What are some issues today that you think we can apply Lincoln’s reasoning and logic to? Well he certainly wanted to have discussions and we seem to have lost the ability to discuss. We suddenly become angry about everything and we don’t hear what one another are saying. I picked you out at the second inaugural. What were your thoughts during that time? My thoughts was getting
into the White House. Do you think that the politicians that we have today or more specifically are- I’m 1860 to 1864, I don’t
know who you’re talking about. Ok I’m from the future, Mr. Lincoln. I’m still in the past. so I know when I’m being curved but I get it. These guys go hard for the character. It made me realize I’m going to have to take it up a notch to fit in at the gala. So I’m going to go to Camelot Costumes to see Linda. She’s a number one Lincoln dresser in town. And, also, it’d be nice to talk to someone wearing jeans. So these are some I pulled just that are time period appropriate. So here’s your drawers. Oh my God this is like the 1870 thong. Yeah, 1860s thong. Thank you so much. Let me get into my lingerie. This is one of my favorite time periods to put costumes in. Alright, guys, I’m a little shy, I’m very scantily clad.
I’m not dressed appropriate right now
in my undergarments. All right. One problem. You have the top on backwards. Oh! That makes sense. Cause I was like,
“How do you do this?” Oh yeah! That makes
so much sense. Do I have to go in under or just- Around what time did people stop -dressing like this?
-Early 1900s. The beginning of the suffragette -movement.
-I can see why the suffragettes kind of got rid of all this. I can do eyeliner on the subway but I can’t tie an 18 hundred shoe. This is like the quinceañera I never got.
I can’t breathe in this dress, though. So I wanted to slip into something a little more presidential. This is a real frock coat from the time period. Really? Oh my God, I can feel the history
on me right now. This is amazing. This is Lincoln right here. This is poppin’. I’m really into this. I think I put your tie over here. Do I look dapper?
Even though this is a three piece suit, it’s way more chill than a corset. Plus it’s 2018, and if I want to wear a suit, I’ma wear a suit. Now that I’m all decked out, I still needed to get some last minute speech tips from one of the coolest aides at the convention. -Cheers. Cheers to that.
-Oh my, my, my. Let’s do it. Ok. So before you started impersonating Abraham Lincoln what were you doing before? Oh, well, I have been a construction contractor for 35 years and Lincoln kind of just appeared one day in that mirror. And so I think, “Well, this is my destiny.” That’s awesome. So aside from just looking like Lincoln, why do you do this? Why -do you present as him?
-The idea of presenting Mr. Lincoln is really above and beyond looking like Mr. Lincoln or acting like Mr. Lincoln, is presenting Mr. Lincoln, what he stood for, his honesty, his integrity, his desire to do the right thing. Absolutely. And if you stand on those principles, then you’re not going to fall. Are there any affectations or ways that I should be speaking? Like is there like a little accent or little tone that I should give while doing my toast? Well make sure that everybody can hear you and understand every word that you say. So I’ve got to slow it down. Yes and a little deeper- And pronounce your words. And pronounce my words and little arm thingy used like this. Oh, yes, slowly. And looking off into the distance. Gazing off into the future, the future is just right behind the crowd and as they turn and leave they’re walking into the future. And what’s on their mind is the words that you said tonight. Ok. Now, is that enough pressure for you? No I’m great.
I feel good now. With you here on my side I think I can do this. It was our beloved 16th president who said, “Whoever you are, be a good one.” But just, what the fuck did I write? I’m gonna do it off my phone. All right hold on. I’m pretty nervous. And I don’t know why I’m never going to see these people ever But I’m pretty nervous. You, my fellow Lincolns, have taught me just how vital Lincoln, me, legacy. Okay I’ll do that again. I could do this. I’ll figure it out. -Hello.
-President, It was my honor serving for you. It was my honor that you served for me. Thank you so much for serving this country. Our brothers and sisters -appreciate you.
-Thank you very much. It was my pleasure. Thank you. Good evening. Good evening. I was not ready for that. I will be completely honest with I wasn’t ready for that. But you know what I think I handled it like a champ, like the 16th President of the United States. Hello sir. I’m like I don’t know if I should go into the men’s room. We are ready for your toast, -Thank you.
-Lincoln. I will be there in just foursquare. Ok. I’m just most nervous about I just want to make sure that these people don’t think that I’m trolling them. This is what they live for. And this is something that means a lot to them. I think I’m going to go forth and just be the best Lincoln I Ladies and gentlemen, we have an announcement from our own special Abraham Lincoln. Good evening, everyone. Hello. It was our beloved 16th president, me, and us, who said, “Whatever you are be a good one.” And I can truly say that on my today that this convention I’ve seen not just good Abraham and Mary Lincolns, but phenomenal ones. You, my fellow Lincolns, have taught me being presidential means to be honest, to be kind and to have our country’s best interests at heart. So to the Marys, may your strength and style bring forth generations of female leaders to come and to Abes, may your honesty and your empathy inspire a future America that we can all be proud of. At first I didn’t realize why anybody would want to come to one of these things, but I can see that with this community everyone is super into each other, they’re into preserving the history, and they’re kind of like family members. We are using the same
stories and telling them in a different way. Thank you. So that’s wonderful. Oh my god, I’m so happy that you
liked it. Can I hug you? Yes, of course! So my two days at the convention felt a little like a Lincoln class trip. Personally, I’d rather be in Miami for the weekend but, hey, it’s what the presenters like to Some people might say this bunch is stuck in the past, but in a time where people’s hobbies include trolling on the Gram, it’s cool to see a group of people come together and apply the same energy to something they love. You lead, you lead. I’ll lead. They got a little historical
comic con going where they honor honesty and debate. Maybe for the next one they should invite number Forty Five.