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Pat McMahon

'Lincoln' reminds us that cameras don't make a president

This publicity film image released by DreamWorks and Twentieth Century Fox shows Daniel Day-Lewis portraying Abraham Lincoln in the film "Lincoln." (AP Photo/DreamWorks and Twentieth Century Fox, David James)

"Our network projections are in much earlier than expected and, in an overwhelming landslide victory, the dynamic Democratic candidate Stephen A. Douglas has carried both the popular and electoral votes in every state to defeat the ungainly and unattractive Republican, Abraham Lincoln."

That's not the way you remember the story from your earliest U.S. history books? You're right, but that's the way it easily might have happened if television had been around to cover that campaign and those debates.

When you see the new Spielberg movie, you will leave the theater understanding why so many historians consider Lincoln the greatest president we've ever had.

But there was no television in the mid 1800s.

Lincoln's voice was not that of a soothing nor commanding orator. To some, it was described as irritating. His posture wasn't that of a proud statesman. And my God! Is that a mole? Quick! Get the Photoshop people.

We wouldn't even recognize him as a Republican, but when you see the movie, you'll see the president we have all been looking for: courageous, ethical, a gifted leader.

How can we find the next Lincoln unless we turn off the cameras?

I'm Pat McMahon.

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About the Author


He's done it all -- and keeps doing it. His career in local Arizona radio and television dates back the late 60s. Pat always stimulates with his thought provoking, opinionated, and entertaining commentaries on the Arizona Morning News while hosting award-winning talk-shows like "The McMahon Group" and "The God Show."

"The Mc Mahon Group" features a very unpredictable all-star panel where 3 people from the community get together and give there thoughts on the news of the week. He also hosts "The God Show" on Sunday's which talks about all aspects of spirituality.

Pat is also well known outside of radio because of his multi-faceted career as an actor, producer, recording artist, writer, broadcaster, and one-third of the legendary comedy team that was on TV for 35 years in Arizona, "The Wallace and Ladmo Show."

Through the many experiences of his professional life, Pat has been richly rewarded with 7 Emmys, major national and international radio awards as well as numerous civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards. Pat was also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University, the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime achievement Award, and has his bronze likeness hanging in the rotunda of the Herberger Theater in recognition of his contributions to Communications & The Arts.

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