First draft: Obama celebrates Lincoln
President Barack Obama takes a little break today in his roadshow to sell his economic stimulus package to honor one of his heroes: Abraham Lincoln.
It’s Lincoln’s 200th birthday and Obama will mark it by giving speeches at the U.S. Capitol and at the Abraham Lincoln Association banquet in Springfield, Illinois.
In between the two he will stop in Peoria, Illinois to visit a factory owned by heavy equipment maker Caterpillar, Inc, which may be able to rehire some laid-off workers if the $789 billion stimulus package is approved.
The morning news shows and the newspapers all gave time and space to the deal reached by Congressional negotiators on the package of tax cuts and spending increases. The bill will now go to a vote in the House and the Senate before Obama can sign it into law.
As Congress moves toward passing the bills and Obama focuses on selling it to ordinary Americans, new government data showed the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits eased last week but by less than expected.
But the new data also offered a faint glimmer of hope … retail sales unexpectedly rose 1 percent in January, a rebound attributed to post-holiday discounts.
-Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama greets actor portraying Lincoln during celebration of Lincoln’s birthday at Ford’s Theatre)