Tonight, we have come together to celebrate the unchallenged greatness of two other former presidents and to express our hope for the success of our new President, Barack Obama. Lincoln, taking a break from full-time politics inaggressively built up his reputation and personal wealth as a business lawyer, particularly for railroads.
Obama chose to devote himself principally to the non-profit world: Lincoln said repeatedly that we need to be guided by a powerful sense of universal mutuality that will bring us together instead of pitting us against one another.
Obama too has already demonstrated his rhetorical prowess. Moreover, the young Obama never tried for a leadership role in his own party, as Lincoln did from the beginning of his career.
It was and is the attainable goal of flesh-and-blood humans who would have to come together as a nation and together find ways to provide fairly-rewarded work, education, healthcare, security in our older years, and most of all equality of opportunity and the right to be treated with dignity.
It differs in one substantial way from most of the many comparisons of Presidents Lincoln and Obama that have been put forth recently. Unfortunately, the comparisons are often distorting, as when both Liberals and Conservatives claim him as one of their own.
Never before has there been a nation with such tremendous influence on the entire planet, a planet infested with weapons of mass destruction possessed by dozens of nations, many of them hostile to one another, some already at war and others poised at the brink.
A planet threatened by the inconvenient truths of global warming, terrorism, pandemics of various kinds, regular episodes of genocide, hunger threatening millions of human beings and now a badly wounded world economy, ailing in part because of a serious recession in the United States.
The backtracking, revisions and gauzy evasions characterizing the nineteen months of his presidential campaign look anything but Lincolnian in terms of predictability. He did participate in a successful voter registration drive inbut the only candidate who ever managed to inspire his personal commitment or dedication was himself.
The "change" into nationhood they believed, was too great to be plausible. As a loyal Whig, he played an influential role in dozens of local and statewide races, winning respect as a sagacious, wily electoral operator.
Inhe traveled throughout the Midwest, stumping for William Henry Harrison for President and stood as a Harrison elector. Lincoln saw what other less farsighted politicians could not see: Douglas, electrifying the public in every corner of the nation with their famous debates.
Both Lincoln and Obama have helped make significant progress in reducing the hateful implications of the racism that was institutionalized by our original Constitution.
As the Whigs began to collapse over the slavery issue, Lincoln played a leading role in organizing the new Republican Party in Illinois. Both were underdog candidates for the Presidency, with little experience as executives.
Ever since then, George Washington has been honored as the "Father of Our Country," who unified, moderated and inspired the Constitutional Convention whose work gave birth to what has become the greatest nation in world history.
After his arrival in the Illinois legislature in at age 25 Abe became floor-leader for the Whig Party and chairman of the powerful finance committee.
Once again, that proposition has been reaffirmed. He remained a proud American nationalist determined to strengthen the union, as well as a dedicated foe of the extension of slavery. Heroes and greatness are born and bred by crises. All over the world, countless millions of people watched and heard the pageant unfold.
His brilliant and eloquent speeches have mesmerized hundreds of millions of listeners all over the globe.
Characteristically, in describing government he went to the heart of the matter. How is President Obama doing so far? His success helped keep the American Dream alive. By contrast, Barack Obama waged his one U.
Were he alive today, Lincoln would express no shock at learning that there are millions of people around the world, in the Middle-East, in Africa and in other places, whose poverty, lack of freedom, and lack of self-esteem make some of them dangerous enemies to those more fortunate people who they believe are oppressing them, aiding their oppressors, or denying them the help they need to earn their own share of comfort and security.
That would be a foolish sacrifice of his extraordinary wisdom. In the first moments of his Inaugural Address, Lincoln dismissed the other issues facing him as creating "neither excitement nor anxiety. Obama seeks to make further strides in that direction. Lincoln is too complex, too profound, too valuable to be distorted the way he often is.
Lincoln became a Presidential candidate 28 years after his first run for public office; Obama announced for the White House a mere twelve years after his debut candidacy for state legislature. In discussing the role of government in seeking to achieve these goals he avoided simplistic notions of "big government" and "little government", "people on the left, people on the right" or any other simplistic shibboleths.
Not just for Americans, but for the whole human race.Another Similarity Between Lincoln and Obama: They Polarized the Nation Abraham Lincoln () posed for a formal portrait, mid.
Comparing Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln Introduction: Barack Obama is an amazing leader and many of his strong qualities are comparable with those of other great leaders throughout history. One historical leader Obama is often compared with is Abaraham Lincoln, the United States's sixteenth president.
The Comparisons Between Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln. What will a new president from Illinois learn from the old one? Historian Matthew Dallek takes a look. Obama and Lincoln share a state. See how Obama used Lincoln as a role model. Learn about their presidencies.
How the Obama and Lincoln Presidencies Were Similar. Search the site GO. History & Culture. American History US Presidents Basics Important Historical Figures Timelines & Key Events Native American History.
I delivered this speech in President Obama's hometown of Chicago on Friday, February 13th, the day after the th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's. Feb 21, · Obama compares himself to Abraham Lincoln, but 44 and grammar do not agree. His previous scribblings do not portend a magnificent memoir.Download