Lincoln 1860

Lincoln 1860

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Is Obama The New Abraham Lincoln?

The latest modern-day politician to be compared to Abraham Lincoln is presidential candidate Barack Obama. And the person comparing him to Lincoln is none other than master film maker Ken Burns, of "Civil War" fame.

In "The Trail" blog from the Washington Post, Burns is quoted as endorsing Obama, praising him for his "moral courage" and "unironic posture." He goes on to compare him to Lincoln, restating how Lincoln was basically unknown and had limited experience in national politics, just as Lincoln did prior to winning the presidency.

The point that most people miss when comparing modern-day politicians to Abraham Lincoln is that Lincoln was a brilliant politician with exceedingly rare leadership skills. Comparing Obama or any other of the major candidates to Abraham Lincoln is pointless, because we don't really know how a person can or cannot lead if elected to the highest office in the land. And it especially makes no sense to say that someone is equal to Lincoln because that person has limited experience just as Lincoln did.

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