Historians say Obama is no Lincoln

December 16th, 2008 - 6:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Chicago, Dec.16 (ANI): Barack Obama may be swearing by his love for his predecessor Abraham Lincoln, but historians say that he is not a patch on the latter.
Obama told interviewer Steve Kroft that Lincon was a man of humility about his approach to government, even before he was president, which he found very helpful, both during his campaign and after winning the election.
His frequent invocations and comparisons with the 16th US President, however, have not gone down well with scholars.
According to Politico, some scholars think the comparisons between Lincoln and Obama have gone a bit over the top hat.
Sean Wilentz, a scholar in American history at Princeton, said many presidents have sought to frame themselves in the historical legacies of illustrious predecessors, but he couldn”t find any examples quite so brazen.
“Sure, they”ve looked back to Washington and even, at times, Jackson. Reagan echoed and at times swiped FDR’’s rhetoric,” said Wilentz. “But there’’s never been anything like this, and on this scale. Ever.”
Eric Foner, a Columbia historian who has written extensively on the Civil War era, agreed that comparing one’’s self to Lincoln sets a rather high bar for success, and could come off like “a certain kind of hubris.”
“It”d be a bit like a basketball player turning up before his first game and saying, ”I”m kind of modeling myself on Michael Jordan,”” he said. “If you can do it, fine. If you”re LeBron James, that”ll work. But people may make that comparison to your disadvantage.”
Bill Clinton summoned the ghosts of multiple presidents during his eight years.
During the 1992 campaign and in his early presidency, he constantly invoked his boyhood hero, John F. Kennedy, and often deliberately channeled his rhetorical style.
In the days before his first inauguration, he traveled to Thomas Jefferson’’s Monticello (with whom he felt a connection in part because his middle name is Jefferson). Then, he tried to pass a jobs program during the first weeks of his presidency, he traveled to Hyde Park and laid a rose at Franklin D. Roosevelt’’s grave.
By 1996, the references had shifted. For much of that year and in 1997, there were constant invocations of Theodore Roosevelt the president whose historical circumstances, he argued, most resembled his own. (ANI)

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