Monday, March 3, 2008

Barack and Abe

Recently, I came across this comparison of Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln via the Essays & Effluvia blog cited below. The original post is from Gary Evans. The comparison is eerily similar, but very notable. Enjoy!!!

Amazingly similar “Experience” between Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln. Look at the following questions, and try to guess which is which:


Question: Name the Presidential candidate:

1) a lawyer;
2) an Illinois state legislator;
3) lost an election to represent Illinois in the U.S. Congress;
4) spent only two years in the U.S. Congress before running for President;
5) risked political damage in opposing a war in which the U.S. invaded a foreign country;
6) delivered a famous speech on national unity as a candidate to represent Illinois in U.S. Senate, elevating his political career to the national level and paving the way for a Presidential run;
7) sought his Party’s Presidential nomination by challenging the establishment candidate, a Senator from New York, also a lawyer, who was widely expected to easily secure the nomination;
8) was viewed by Party delegates as a talented speaker able to attract moderates and newer voters;
9) viewed by some in his Party as a better candidate more likely to secure critical states in the general election as his rivals, especially those with “experience” had accumulated more political enemies;
10) the opposition party was fractured and in complete disarray;
11) March 4th is a very significant date in his political career;


Answer: Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln

1) Obama attended Harvard Law. Lincoln was self taught and practiced law becoming one of Illinois’ most respected litigators.
2) Obama served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Lincoln served four successive terms in the Illinois House of Representatives;
3) Obama lost his 2000 Democratic primary bid to unseat four-term Congressman Bobby Rush. Lincoln lost the 1858 Illinois Senate race to Stephen Douglas.
4) Obama was seated in the U.S. Senate in 2005 and announced his candidacy for POTUS in 2007. Lincoln served one term in the 30th Congress form 1847-49;
5) Obama strongly opposed the Iraq War during his campaign for U.S. Senate. Congressman Lincoln opposed the Mexican-American War, which made him very unpopular at home. He demanded from President Polk, “Show me the spot!” – the exact spot where American blood was first shed. The justification of war was that Mexico attacked and killed Americans inside U.S. territory. Lincoln believed the attack took place on Mexican soil. This earned him the nickname “Spotty Lincoln”;
6) Then candidate for the Senate Obama delivered his famous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, which catapulted his national political career. Lincoln gave his “House Divided Speech” in June 1858 upon accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. This speech is considered one of his best;
7) Against long odds, Obama challenged Senator Hillary Clinton, a lawyer, from New York and is now the likely nomination. Lincoln challenged Senator William Seward from New York for the Republican Party nomination. Seward, also a lawyer, was widely considered the favorite with his vast governmental “experience” first as Governor and then Senator from New York. Seward became Lincoln's Secretary of State.
8) Obama is widely recognized for his orator skills and his ability to attract moderate independents and even some Republicans. Party leaders viewed Lincoln as a talented speaker and more moderate than his rivals, William Seward and Samuel Chase.
9) Obama is viewed more likely to win the “Red states” than his rival. Lincoln’s Western origins made him more attractive to the critical Western States – California and Oregon. His more limited “experience” resulted in fewer political enemies and thus a smoother path to winning the General.
10) The Republican Party is currently fractured and in disarray. Conservatives are unhappy with John McCain. The opposition in Lincoln’s day was fractured by the North/South divide. The Democrats held two conventions – one in Baltimore and one Richmond -- and nominated two candidates. The Northern Democrats chose Stephen Douglas and John Breckinridge was the candidate of the Southern Democrats. Breckenridge carried the South and won 72 electoral votes and Douglas secured only two states, Missouri and New Jersey, totally 12 electoral votes. Lincoln won 180 electoral votes;
11) March 4th proves to be a pivotal day for Obama in which he can secure the Democratic nomination. On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as the 16th President of the United States.


Source: Gary Evans

Reposted from Essays & Effluvia blog.

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