President Abraham Lincoln and President-elect Barack Obama seem to have uncanny similarities. The comparison is eerie.
Both were criticized for being too inexperienced to become president of the United States. The two thin men from shaky beginnings, but wise to the world brought the country together to face a crisis. Both men were lawyers who worked their way through the rankings. Both were outsiders that emerged onto the national stage with confidence and political knowledge that drew supporters. Like Lincoln, Obama has the gift of captivating his audience.
“I have been reading a lot about their similarities,” said Kerry Brown, a junior a Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL. “Lincoln was a great president. He united our country and I think Obama will do the exact same thing and get the United States back on track.”
Lincoln was known to be the smartest man in the room at most gatherings. So is Obama. But both men were smart enough not to flaunt their intelligence throughout their campaigns. Reuniting a country does not rely entirely on intelligence. In fact, brains can be a disadvantage in some cases because they may cut off the need for guidance and interaction. A united country relies on personality and eloquence.
Throughout Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, themes of Lincoln have been hinted into his speeches. His president acceptance speech in Chicago Illinois was modeled after Lincoln. Obama’s inauguration in January is themed as “A New Birth of Freedom”, a line adopted from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Figure 2: Barack Obama
As January approaches rapidly, the question that remains on many American minds is if the President-elect can reunite our country that has been sharply divided. The Obama transition team seems to be working diligently on swiftly assembling the new administration. Similar to Lincoln, Obama may attempt to put political opponents in his cabinet.
“Obama is a breath of fresh air in the White House,” said Lauren Barrett, a junior at Stockton University in Stockton, NJ. “I hope he can unite our government and bring change to our country. In such situations, Lincoln is a fabulous person to model after.”