Obama and Lincoln: Historians Mixed (As Usual)

We’ve listened to dozens of high sounding speeches and we’ve heard the media gush while comparing President-elect Obama to the likes of Franlin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

The President-elect himself has not been shy about adopting the comparison to Lincoln — one might think Abraham Lincoln was Mr. Obama’s role model and mentor and teacher and friend.

This news Just Today:  “President-elect Obama is deeply honored that the Library of Congress has made the Lincoln Bible available for use during his swearing-in,” Presidential Inaugural Committee Executive Director Emmett Beliveau said.

The 1861 Lincoln Inaugural Bible against the backdrop of the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress.

The 1861 Lincoln Inaugural Bible against the backdrop of the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress.

Now CNN is asking what is Mr. Obama’s favorite bible passage?
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/24
/inauguration.scripture/index.html

Obama is also tracing the train route that Lincoln took to Washington and holding a welcome event at the Lincoln memorial ahead of his Jan. 20 inauguration.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

And, at least here at Peace and Freedom we’ve said to ourselves, let’s please allow for some miracles before we bestow saintood status upon the President-elect.  Let’s allow a bit of time for governing….

FDR had accomplishments of the Great Depression and World War II to guide historians.  Lincoln battled to keep the Union together during years of Civil War.

So we are somewhat reluctant to compare the President-elect to other great men until and unless he establishes himself as –  another great man.  As it stands now, he is a and the President-elect.

And that is an historic accomplishment all its own.

*********************

Bt Matt Carey
CNN

Much has been made of Barack Obama’s interest in “Team of Rivals,” Doris Kearns Goodwin’s best-selling book on President Lincoln and his cabinet.

But the president-elect may want to put a new Lincoln book on his nightstand, “Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief” (Penguin).

The work by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson explores how the Illinois lawyer and self-taught military strategist managed to successfully prosecute the nation’s bloodiest war.

Like Lincoln, Obama enters office without any military experience of his own, yet he becomes commander in chief during a time of not one but two wars. What can Obama learn from Lincoln’s example? CNN put that question to McPherson, but first we discussed how the 16th president developed into arguably the country’s greatest commander in chief. The following is an edited version of the interview.

Read the entire interview:
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/boo
ks/12/23/mcpherson.lincoln/index.html

*********************

By Alexander Burns and John F. Harris
Politico

In Barack Obama’s appearance last month on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” the conversation turned to the president-elect’s long-time love of Lincoln.

“There is a wisdom there,” Obama told interviewer Steve Kroft, “and a humility about his approach to government, even before he was president, that I just find very helpful.”

Humility? Obama’s frequent invocations of Abraham Lincoln — a man enshrined in myth and marble with his own temple on the National Mall — would not at first blush say much about his own instincts for modesty or self-effacement.

Abraham Lincoln

And now there are early rumblings of a backlash to Obama’s ostentatious embrace of all things Lincoln, with his not-so-subtle invitations to compare the 44th president to the 16th, the “Savior of the Union.”

Simply put, some scholars think the comparisons have gone a bit over the top hat.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081215/pl_politico/16569

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