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Abraham Lincoln heroically reunited a fractured nation, and now it appears that the leaders of the U.S. Senate are hoping he can do the same for a deeply divided chamber once renowned for its bipartisan civility.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who these days often seem barely on speaking terms, sent out a joint invitation to all their Senate colleagues and their spouses to attend a screening of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19.
DreamWorks is the official host, and after the film, Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrays Lincoln, screenwriter Tony Kushner and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin — on whose book the script is based — will take questions from the lawmakers. (Hint: Make a deal; don’t go over that cliff.)
“Lincoln has captivated audiences across the nation and received outstanding reviews,” Reid and McConnell wrote. “Based in part on [Goodwin’s] widely acclaimed book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, the film depicts the good which is attainable when public servants put the betterment of the country ahead of short-term political interests.
“We believe that viewing this film would provide all senators with a positive opportunity to gather and reflect during this holiday season.”
Reid saw Lincoln in November at a special White House screening with President Barack Obama. He told a reporter from the Las Vegas Review-Journal during the weekend that he was so impressed with the film that he wanted to show it to the full Senate.
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