Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 20, 2009
POLITICS: Fashion Question of the Day

Will Obama wear a stovepipe hat? Even some on the left think he's overselling his campaign to convince people that he's Abe Lincoln:

Simply put, some scholars think the comparisons have gone a bit over the top hat.

Sean Wilentz, a scholar in American history at Princeton, said many presidents have sought to frame themselves in the historical legacies of illustrious predecessors, but he couldn't find any examples quite so brazen.

"Sure, they've looked back to Washington and even, at times, Jackson. Reagan echoed and at times swiped FDR's rhetoric," said Wilentz. "But there's never been anything like this, and on this scale. Ever."

Eric Foner, a Columbia historian who has written extensively on the Civil War era, agreed that comparing one's self to Lincoln sets a rather high bar for success, and could come off like "a certain kind of hubris."

"It'd be a bit like a basketball player turning up before his first game and saying, 'I'm kind of modeling myself on Michael Jordan,'" he said. "If you can do it, fine. If you're LeBron James, that'll work. But people may make that comparison to your disadvantage."

Actually, he has yet to prove he's not the Harold Miner of presidential politics.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:55 AM | Politics 2009 | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

It's hard not to laugh at all the whining from the "tough guy" right today. Most people in this country, sorry to tell you, are very happy this day is here. You all can't even take it with any dignity. Snivel away, it's wildly entertaining in the face of what goes on in the real world.

Posted by: jim at January 20, 2009 11:44 AM

To be sucessful, all he has to be is not George W. Bush. Like George in Seinfled, "I must do the opposite."

Posted by: Magrooder at January 20, 2009 12:25 PM

Actually he must do something he has never done before in his life-actually work and make decisions for which he will be judged.

Gird your loins!

Posted by: Lee at January 20, 2009 1:13 PM


Real world? Are you serious? The gushing worshipers of Obama are the ones not living in the real world; the ones that think his mere presence alone in the White House is going to "change" everything and "unify" everyone. Dignity? Are you serious? For 8 years, liberals have shown no dignity to the outgoing administration. It's amazing how the standards change.

Posted by: per14 at January 20, 2009 5:00 PM


There are plenty of liberals not living in what I would call the real world. PETA is a prime example. I saw this initially on CNN, but's its from the PETA website:

"Save the Sea Kittens!

Would people think twice about ordering fish sticks if they were called Sea Kitten sticks? Help us save fish by changing their names! READ MORE"

I mean, you've got to be kidding me. They also have a plan for Obama. If he listens to people like this, we're all in big trouble.

I may have to eat a fish sandwich tomorrow just for fun.

Posted by: MVH at January 20, 2009 9:37 PM

Lee (+1). You nailed it.

Magrooder - dude, if you can't spell Seinfeld, please make no references from it. Awful.

I think people are happy the day is here, but will be just as happy when is passes. We made history, yay, now what?

Posted by: Chris at January 20, 2009 11:26 PM

names? addresses?
One can only hope the people of this country (the left) drag Obama leftward and help the people who live here.

In the meantime, is there ANYONE who doesn't realize Conservatism as an ideology is dead?

Posted by: Berto at January 21, 2009 4:14 AM

Chris, how insightful and courageous of you to focus on a typo instead of addressing the substance. Wow, you really got me there. Seriously, THAT is the best you can do?

Posted by: Magrooder at January 21, 2009 9:43 AM

Nice with the strawman comment that means nothing. Let's see, there were 2 million people at the inauguration. More people voted for Obama than any other politician in U.S. History. Bush was the least popular President in, at least, modern history by the time the door hit his butt. He left the country far worse off than what he was handed. The real world is not what you yahoos imagine it to be. Sure, there are fawning people that over-idolize Obama (can you acknowledge those on the right with Bush?) but most people are glad that there is a change, that there is some reason for optimism, that there is someone who most people think is probably thoughtful, smart and insightful. It should not be shrugged off either that, no matter what you want to think about the man, that this is a powerful symbol in and for this country.

So have your pity party that you all seem desperate to have, be as snarky as possible, throw in some Messiah references and be as generally unpleasant as possible in the face of the first sense of optimism this country has seen in awhile. Please continue to be the face of conservatism.

Posted by: jim at January 21, 2009 12:03 PM

I remember in architecture school, we were taught that, when we started a project, one of the key first things was to study how the great masters did it. So off we would go to investigate Wright, Kahn, Corbusier, Sullivan, Richardson, Gaudi, you name it.

So tell me, if you are going to be president, whom would you rather be a disciple of? Pick either group A or group B:

Group A: Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, James Polk

Group B: Franklin Pierce, George W Bush, Milliard Fillmore, James Buchanan

Did he go too far to emulate Lincoln? Dunno. Did W go too far to emulate his long ago kinsman, and equal despised ex-President, Pierce? Not sure there either, but I would rather a President be a Lincoln (or a Ford--his joke, but true) than a Pierce. Pun not (well not totally) intended.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at January 21, 2009 2:56 PM

In what sense is Obama a "disciple" of Lincoln? This is just posturing on BHO's part.

Posted by: John Salmon at January 22, 2009 1:01 PM
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