SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Hillary Clinton is embracing the symbolism of Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech, arguing that the nation needs to repair its divisions after a series of high-profile shootings.
Clinton’s campaign said the Democratic presidential nominee would use the backdrop of the Old State House in Springfield, Illinois, on Wednesday to discuss the importance of uniting the country and healing divisions in the nation’s politics and culture.
Lincoln delivered his address about the perils of slavery in June 1858 to the state Republican convention, famously declaring that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” He was defeated in his Senate bid that year but elected president two years later.
Returning to the site of Lincoln’s speech, Clinton intends to address race relations in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers who were working at a public protest over fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.
Clinton is not the first to reach for Lincoln’s legacy. President Barack Obama launched his first presidential campaign in 2007 in a chilly outdoor rally on the steps of the Old State Capitol, echoing Lincoln’s calls for unity before the Civil War.
Her campaign said the speech will build off remarks last Friday to the African Methodist Episcopal Church convention in Philadelphia, where she pointed to the recent violence and declared there is “something wrong with our country.”
“We have to find a way to repair these wounds and close these divides. The great genius and salvation of the United States is our capacity to do and be better,” Clinton said last week in Philadelphia. “We need to find a way to do that again today-because it’s critical to everything else we want to achieve.”