Daily Archives: February 12, 2009

>The Abraham Lincoln Analogy

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On this , the 200th birthday of president Abraham Lincoln, Katharine Q. Seelye of the NY Times has just posted the following article about how past and current Presidents have invoked Lincoln to shape their own presidencies. 

Ms. Seelye goes to great lengths to describe how President Obama has used the Lincoln analogies to shape his image as a leader and how he used them very successfully to guide his campaign and his young presidency:
Barack Obama is not the first president to feel a kinship with Abraham Lincoln. Nixon made at least one midnight visit to the Lincoln Memorial for a talk with the great man’s statue. Teddy Roosevelt wore a ring that was made from a lock of Lincoln’s hair. Franklin Roosevelt hired Robert Sherwood, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his play, “Abe Lincoln in Illinois,” as his speechwriter.

But Mr. Obama has taken the identification with the 16th president to a new level. He began his presidential campaign two years ago in Springfield, Ill., Lincoln’s home, on the weekend of Lincoln’s birthday. And he comes full circle on Thursday, Lincoln’s 200th birthday. After speaking in honor of Lincoln at the Capitol Rotunda in the morning (“I feel a special gratitude to this singular figure who in so many ways made my own story possible,” he said), he journeys back to Springfield to deliver another tribute in the evening.

Of course, the timing of his election with Lincoln’s bicentennial, being celebrated today around the country, is coincidental. Still, we wondered if Mr. Obama could over-do the Lincoln analogy. Is it in his political interest to mind-meld with another president? Is he being presumptuous? Is he raising expectations?

Mr. Obama’s pilgrimages to Springfield are bookends to a period in which he has elevated Lincoln to the status of, well, almost a co-president. He quoted Lincoln throughout the campaign and mimicked the trappings of his inauguration, down to copying the menu for his inaugural lunch from Lincoln’s, and having the food served on replicas of the china that Mary Todd Lincoln chose for the White House. On Wednesday, Mr. Obama even joined a star-studded celebration for the rededication of Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated.

We talked with several historians and analysts about the political benefits and the risks for Mr. Obama in keeping Lincoln so close at hand. Most generally agreed that the advantages outweigh any disadvantages, which explains why he’s still doing it.

Harold Holzer, a Lincoln scholar and co-chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, says he believes that Mr. Obama feels a genuine kinship with Lincoln. That said, he suggests that in the early days of the campaign, resurrecting Lincoln had a political purpose — he was an example of someone who didn’t have much Washington experience and yet went on to become a great president.

   
Read more >>> Here

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Filed under 200th birthday, Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln analogy, Lincoln scholars, NY Times, President Obama

The Abraham Lincoln Analogy

On this , the 200th birthday of president Abraham Lincoln, Katharine Q. Seelye of the NY Times has just posted the following article about how past and current Presidents have invoked Lincoln to shape their own presidencies. 

Ms. Seelye goes to great lengths to describe how President Obama has used the Lincoln analogies to shape his image as a leader and how he used them very successfully to guide his campaign and his young presidency:
Barack Obama is not the first president to feel a kinship with Abraham Lincoln. Nixon made at least one midnight visit to the Lincoln Memorial for a talk with the great man’s statue. Teddy Roosevelt wore a ring that was made from a lock of Lincoln’s hair. Franklin Roosevelt hired Robert Sherwood, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his play, “Abe Lincoln in Illinois,” as his speechwriter.

But Mr. Obama has taken the identification with the 16th president to a new level. He began his presidential campaign two years ago in Springfield, Ill., Lincoln’s home, on the weekend of Lincoln’s birthday. And he comes full circle on Thursday, Lincoln’s 200th birthday. After speaking in honor of Lincoln at the Capitol Rotunda in the morning (“I feel a special gratitude to this singular figure who in so many ways made my own story possible,” he said), he journeys back to Springfield to deliver another tribute in the evening.

Of course, the timing of his election with Lincoln’s bicentennial, being celebrated today around the country, is coincidental. Still, we wondered if Mr. Obama could over-do the Lincoln analogy. Is it in his political interest to mind-meld with another president? Is he being presumptuous? Is he raising expectations?

Mr. Obama’s pilgrimages to Springfield are bookends to a period in which he has elevated Lincoln to the status of, well, almost a co-president. He quoted Lincoln throughout the campaign and mimicked the trappings of his inauguration, down to copying the menu for his inaugural lunch from Lincoln’s, and having the food served on replicas of the china that Mary Todd Lincoln chose for the White House. On Wednesday, Mr. Obama even joined a star-studded celebration for the rededication of Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated.

We talked with several historians and analysts about the political benefits and the risks for Mr. Obama in keeping Lincoln so close at hand. Most generally agreed that the advantages outweigh any disadvantages, which explains why he’s still doing it.

Harold Holzer, a Lincoln scholar and co-chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, says he believes that Mr. Obama feels a genuine kinship with Lincoln. That said, he suggests that in the early days of the campaign, resurrecting Lincoln had a political purpose — he was an example of someone who didn’t have much Washington experience and yet went on to become a great president.

   
Read more >>> Here

Leave a comment

Filed under 200th birthday, Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln analogy, Lincoln scholars, NY Times, President Obama

>NAACP: We Are 100

>By NAACP President and CEO Benjamin T. Jealous

February 12, 2009

One hundred years ago, a small multiracial group of progressive thinkers dared to come together in a tiny New York apartment to share a bold dream: An America free of the racial oppression that sullied the soul of our nation a little over 40 years after slavery. The NAACP was born of that noble vision advanced by such visionary thinkers as Ida B. Wells, Mary White Ovington and W.E.B. Dubois. The new organization, radical for its time, launched a tenacious three decade long struggle to successfully end the horror of lynch mobs. In 1932, we took up the mantle to reverse the destructive, segregating vestiges of Jim Crow, and two decades later, segregation was made illegal. In the 1960’s, a determined effort for economic and political inclusion was initiated that triumphed last year in the election of an African-American president and the most black elected officials since Reconstruction.

The election of President Barack Obama reflects a seminal transformation within the American psyche. Overcoming the limitations of our history fraught with the wrenching divisions of race, a majority of voters embraced our country’s promise – crossing racial, cultural and generational boundaries to set a remarkable example for the world. Yet there is a dichotomy between the symbol of hope and racial progress of Obama’s election and the entrenched realties of our painful racial legacy. While the country has allowed individuals to permeate the barriers of discrimination, entire groups of people still are locked out of the American dream because of race.

The NAACP has always embraced the impossible, fearlessly marching forward at an unwavering pace. Our triumphs have not been ours alone. Ending lynch mobs against African Americans ended the horror for White Catholics, the second largest group of victims. Our fight against discrimination helped all disenfranchised members of our country open locked doors and break through barriers of inequity.

But the journey is not over. Black unemployment is perennially twice that of white Americans. Several studies found that a majority of employers preferred to hire a white criminal than a black man without a criminal record. African American children disproportionately attend segregated, poor quality schools. Mass incarceration is harming far too many people of color when drug treatment and other approaches would have better outcomes. The health disparities in our communities are well-known.

Now as we face our second centennial, we can begin to see the realization of the vision of a new land where all live in safe communities and law enforcement respects and protects our neighborhoods. A land where all children can blossom in a quality school; their potential nurtured and cherished. Where every worker in America has a fair chance for employment, education and advancement. The journey is born anew this year and just as in the past we had the courage to pursue the impossible dream that doubters insisted was illusory , today we will begin again to be fearless as we resolutely move towards a better tomorrow for us all.

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Filed under Benijamin T. Jealous, NAACP, race and politics, Race Relations

NAACP: We Are 100

By NAACP President and CEO Benjamin T. Jealous

February 12, 2009

One hundred years ago, a small multiracial group of progressive thinkers dared to come together in a tiny New York apartment to share a bold dream: An America free of the racial oppression that sullied the soul of our nation a little over 40 years after slavery. The NAACP was born of that noble vision advanced by such visionary thinkers as Ida B. Wells, Mary White Ovington and W.E.B. Dubois. The new organization, radical for its time, launched a tenacious three decade long struggle to successfully end the horror of lynch mobs. In 1932, we took up the mantle to reverse the destructive, segregating vestiges of Jim Crow, and two decades later, segregation was made illegal. In the 1960’s, a determined effort for economic and political inclusion was initiated that triumphed last year in the election of an African-American president and the most black elected officials since Reconstruction.

The election of President Barack Obama reflects a seminal transformation within the American psyche. Overcoming the limitations of our history fraught with the wrenching divisions of race, a majority of voters embraced our country’s promise – crossing racial, cultural and generational boundaries to set a remarkable example for the world. Yet there is a dichotomy between the symbol of hope and racial progress of Obama’s election and the entrenched realties of our painful racial legacy. While the country has allowed individuals to permeate the barriers of discrimination, entire groups of people still are locked out of the American dream because of race.

The NAACP has always embraced the impossible, fearlessly marching forward at an unwavering pace. Our triumphs have not been ours alone. Ending lynch mobs against African Americans ended the horror for White Catholics, the second largest group of victims. Our fight against discrimination helped all disenfranchised members of our country open locked doors and break through barriers of inequity.

But the journey is not over. Black unemployment is perennially twice that of white Americans. Several studies found that a majority of employers preferred to hire a white criminal than a black man without a criminal record. African American children disproportionately attend segregated, poor quality schools. Mass incarceration is harming far too many people of color when drug treatment and other approaches would have better outcomes. The health disparities in our communities are well-known.

Now as we face our second centennial, we can begin to see the realization of the vision of a new land where all live in safe communities and law enforcement respects and protects our neighborhoods. A land where all children can blossom in a quality school; their potential nurtured and cherished. Where every worker in America has a fair chance for employment, education and advancement. The journey is born anew this year and just as in the past we had the courage to pursue the impossible dream that doubters insisted was illusory , today we will begin again to be fearless as we resolutely move towards a better tomorrow for us all.

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Filed under Benijamin T. Jealous, NAACP, race and politics, Race Relations

>Monmouth County Freeholder Meeting Today

>The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders meet today, “Be there or be Square” as they say.

Board Of Chosen Freeholders’ Work Session
2:00 P.M.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Freeholders’ Meeting Room
Hall Of Records, Freehold, Nj

Board of Chosen Freeholders’ Regular Session
7:00 P.M.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Freeholders’ Meeting Room
1 East Main Street
Freehold, New Jersey

The agenda is available online for both the work and regular sessions. Click on this
link to view all agendas: http://co.monmouth.nj.us/freeholdersagenda/

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Filed under agendas, Freeholder Meeting, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders

Monmouth County Freeholder Meeting Today

The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders meet today, “Be there or be Square” as they say.

Board Of Chosen Freeholders’ Work Session
2:00 P.M.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Freeholders’ Meeting Room
Hall Of Records, Freehold, Nj

Board of Chosen Freeholders’ Regular Session
7:00 P.M.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Freeholders’ Meeting Room
1 East Main Street
Freehold, New Jersey

The agenda is available online for both the work and regular sessions. Click on this
link to view all agendas: http://co.monmouth.nj.us/freeholdersagenda/

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Filed under agendas, Freeholder Meeting, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders

It’s a Blustery Day

Gopher: If I was you, I’d think about skedaddlin’ out of here.

Winnie the Pooh: Why?

Gopher: ‘Cause it’s “Winds-day.”

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Filed under blustery day, Gopher, Winnie the Pooh