Clinton’s Hometown History Lesson: Lincoln Was What?

Copies of Hillary Clinton's new book, 'Hard Choices' at a Dulles International Airport bookstore on June 10, 2014 in Sterling, Virginia.

Photograph by Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Copies of Hillary Clinton’s new book, ‘Hard Choices’ at a Dulles International Airport bookstore on June 10, 2014 in Sterling, Virginia.

Republicans are mocking Hillary Clinton for a slip-up in history she made today about one of the most famous figures from her home state of Illinois, the Land of Lincoln.

Speaking in her hometown of Chicago, Clinton was discussing the “Team of Rivals” chapter of her new book, outlining how she had campaigned against Barack Obama in 2008 before accepting the new president’s request to become his first secretary of state.

“That’s what it was in the beginning, a senator from Illinois ran against a senator from New York, just as had happened way back with a senator from Illinois named Lincoln and a senator from New York named Seward,” Clinton said, in a reference toAbraham Lincoln and William H. Seward. “And it turned out the same way.”

Lincoln, of course, never was a U.S. senator, although he did serve in the U.S. House. Earlier in his electoral career, he was elected to the Illinois General Assembly as a member of the Whig Party.

In 1858, Lincoln lost an election against Stephen Douglas for a Senate seat from Illinois, yet gained a national reputation through their Lincoln-Douglas debates that helped him win the Republican nomination for president in 1860.

In early May, Clinton received the Order of Lincoln, the state’s highest public honor, during another visit to Chicago. In accepting the award, she called Lincoln “the greatest president who ever served our country.”

“With Hillary Clinton trying to rewrite her own history during through this book tour, it’s only fitting that she tried to rewrite Abraham Lincoln’s history, by claiming he was a U.S. Senator,” Republican National Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement. “Before she embarks on another presidential campaign, Clinton might want to take a History 101 refresher.”

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