Obama and Lincoln
Many details of the days leading up to the inauguration of Barack Obama echoed events in the political life of President Abraham Lincoln, one of Obama's heroes:
- In 2007, Obama announced his presidential candidacy on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., where Lincoln made a similar announcement in the mid-19th Century.
- Obama has quoted Lincoln many times in recent months, including at his two most famous speeches thus far, at the Democratic National Convention and on Election Night.
- Much has been made of Obama's fondness for the book Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin's account of Lincoln's assembly of his Cabinet from his former rivals for the presidency.
- On January 17, Obama played host to a town hall meeting in Philadelphia, Pa., then traveled by train to Washington, D.C., as Lincoln did in 1861.
- The next day, Obama played host to a celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.
- Obama was sworn in using the same Bible that Lincoln used in 1861.
- The lunch menu after the inauguration was in keeping with many foods that the Lincolns served in 1861. The china will be a replica of the one used by First Lady Mary Lincoln.