Tales from the Trail

Just what is a “Lincoln-Douglas” debate?

December 6, 2011

Republican frontrunner Newt Gingrich and long-shot Jon Huntsman say they’ll hold a “Lincoln-Douglas” debate in New Hampshire on Monday. So how will it be different from the usual debates?

Obama already getting gray hair

March 5, 2009

OBAMA/ECONOMYWell, that didn’t take long. President Barack Obama is already showing signs that the White House is aging him six weeks after he took office. He is getting gray around the temples.

Obama comparing himself to Lincoln? Perish the thought

February 13, 2009

Springfield, Ill. – President Barack Obama may have ridden a train to Washington for his inauguration, just like Abraham Lincoln.And he may be assembling a “Team of Rivals” for his Cabinet, just like the president who fought the Civil War to keep the United States unified nearly 150 years ago.USA-OBAMA/But Obama is not trying to draw associations between himself and the 16th U.S. president, who by the way also was from Illinois.So said his spokesman as the president marked the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth with speeches at the U.S. Capitol and in Springfield, Illinois.“This president isn’t seeking to compare himself with … what many believe is one of the two or three greatest presidents that this country has ever had,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters on Air Force One en route to Illinois.But then again …“There are parallels, I think, that make it hard for some to ignore,” Gibbs said, enumerating a few: “the Illinois factor, the spending roughly the same amount of time in Springfield and the same amount of time in Congress.”“I think the parallels don’t go a whole lot beyond that,” he added.Obama managed to draw a few more.Speaking at the Lincoln bicentennial he noted it was good to be back in Springfield, “where I launched my candidacy for president two years ago this week –- on the steps of the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln served and prepared for his presidency.”The president had just gotten word that Republican Senator Judd Gregg had withdrawn as commerce secretary nominee, and it was on his mind as he reflected on Lincoln, the simple lawyer who became a mythic American figure.Obama said he thought of Lincoln sitting in his law office, feet up on his desk, sons playing around him, clothes a bit too small for his oversized frame and “maybe wondering if someone might call him up and ask him to be commerce secretary.”This drawing of parallels between Democrat Obama and the first Republican U.S. president was a bit much for the Republican Party and it’s new leader, Michael Steele.Trying to hang onto at least a shred of Lincoln’s legacy for the Republicans, Steele issued his own statement on the bicentennial.“As the leader of the party of Lincoln, I realize that we bear a special responsibility to build on the great work of President Lincoln, and all those Americans who have devoted their lives to the cause of liberty,” he said.For more Reuters political news, click here.Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Obama at Lincoln bicentennial celebration in Springfield)

First draft: Obama celebrates Lincoln

February 12, 2009

OBAMA/

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.