Obama and Lincoln

Posted by Katherine | August 26, 2008 – 2:16 pm

Obama introduced Joe Biden as his running mate at Springfield’s Old State Capitol, the same place he declared his candidacy in February 2007 — the spot where Abraham Lincoln gave his “House Divided” speech. Obama referred to Lincoln liberally during his 07 announcement and counts him as a political hero. This carefully cultivated Obama-Lincoln meme has spread into election imagery. We’ve featured an example once before; this weekend’s Springfield rally is a good occasion to highlight two more finds.

Enrique Guerrero from Buenos Aires in Argentina saw this bright mural in San Francisco. If you don’t get it right away, look again — two people in the photo’s comment thread said they didn’t notice the Obama piece of it at first. (Thanks, Sue Salinger.)

Obama-Lincoln mashup
[enrguerrero / Flickr]

The anonymous and quiet blogger at unconquerable gladness would have picked Democratic Senator Chris Dodd as Obama’s VP candidate, but he’s okay with Biden and not entirely surprised. He thinks Obama’s choice fits the Lincoln story:

faithful watchers are aware that obama would not choose a yes man (bayh) nor make the typical electoral gambit (kaine) (nor choose a far lefty); choosing biden is consistent within the lincoln narrative. from obamas consideration of others experience to his consistent magnanimity to the use of springfield illinois, team of rivals continues to be the under-suggested blueprint.

“Team of Rivals” refers to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book that documents Lincoln’s war cabinet, which included his Republican presidential rivals. Obama has said that he is taken with this style of leadership — and would emulate it if elected president.


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