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Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has written a history of Abraham Lincoln coming to power in Washington. This is a book that Barack Obama is reading..Obama Reading Poster

And after the handshake tonight with Hillary, we might want to read it too. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln .

Obama started his presidential campaign at the old Illinois State Capitol building where Lincoln delivered his famous "house divided" speech.

Barack's favorite books:

Song of Solomon (Toni Morrison), Moby Dick, Shakespeare's Tragedies, Parting the Waters, Gilead (Robinson), Self-Reliance (Emerson), The Bible, Lincoln's Collected Writings  

Something makes me think that Hillary Clinton and John Edwards may soon be finding work inside the White House

From author Doris Kearns Goodwin's website

As the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.

That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by life experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

Obama was not out to destroy Hillary tonight.  He was making room for her to join him.  This remarkable man is going to rewrite the political rules and he's got Team of Rivals in his back pocket. title=

Originally posted to crystal eyes on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 08:54 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've read Team of Rivals (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oxley, crystal eyes, webphantom, LI Mike, SciVo

    and think it was an outstanding book. It is very insightful and explains in great detail why Lincoln chose his closest rivals for the Republican nomination to be in his Cabinet. I've been advocating for awhile now a Cabinet filled with his rivals, particulary Edwards, Biden, and Richardson (Dodd I would like to see become Majority Leader), but I have to say I don't think Clinton should be included.

    Hillary is an incredibly divisive figure, not like the other rivals. I think her addition to the ticket or in the Cabinet would only cause division and animosity. It wouldn't create unity and change, which is what Obama wants. Whereas Edwards, Biden, and Richardson are genuienly liked by most. Also an addition of a Clinton into the Cabinet would create power struggles in my opinion. Hillary obviously has presidential ambitions for later (I think we some of that sentiment tonight in the debate) and frankly I don't trust her.

    Now I think Obama should work closely with her in her role as a Senator, but no position in his Administration should be offered to her.

    Obama should pick the best set of people that represent the various regions of America (like Lincoln did) and who will unite the party and also the country. Edwards, Biden, and Richardson would do that in my opinion. An addition of someone like Kathleen Sebellius to the Cabinet would be a plus for me as well.

    •  I agree that Hillary is radioactive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SciVo

      and not a smart choice for the ticket, but there is something about Obama that is larger than our petty divisions.  He is not campaigning just to win.  He is campaigning to govern. "Us and them" are becoming "US".

      "This chamber is, for the most part, silent---ominously, dreadfully, silent." (Sen. Byrd on the eve of the Iraq invasion)

      by crystal eyes on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 09:07:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No unity ticket (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crystal eyes, SciVo

      The DNC cannot, cannot give the Republicans what they so desperately want this year - a Clinton anywhere on the presidential ticket.  I'm more open to having Hillary in a cabinet position, but even with her in the VP slot, she will drag down Obama with all of the extremely negative feelings she inspires among Republicans.  Obama can pick up some Republicans by himself, but not if Hillary is running with him.    

      •  Not a unity ticket but a unity government (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SciVo

        Obama talks about change coming from the bottom up.  He will lead a national consensus that will bring former political foes together under one roof to work together for the common good.

        "This chamber is, for the most part, silent---ominously, dreadfully, silent." (Sen. Byrd on the eve of the Iraq invasion)

        by crystal eyes on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 09:17:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Of course... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crystal eyes

      ....Lincoln had his powerful rival, William Seward as his Secretary of State. He was, in fact, the front runner for the Republican nomination, but was considered to be overly abrasive. Yet he did well as Secretary of State and Lincoln knew how to handle him. And we got Alaska out of the bargain.

    •  Well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crystal eyes

      Since you've read the book would you say that Treas Sec Salmon Chase was divisive? (I would say yes.)   Still, Lincoln appreciated the work he did at Treasury even though Chase openly worked to undermine Lincoln. Hard to imagine someone as divisive as Salmon Chase in any administration.

      •  Yes, I would say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        crystal eyes

        Chase was very divisive, but not so much from a public stand point. He was divisive when it came to the Cabinet working together because he constantly tried to form factions and manipulate people. Chase, unlike Seward, still had presidential ambitions for the future. Also, unlike Seward, Chase really looked down on Lincoln, thought he could do a better job. I think making Chase Sec. of Tre. wasn't as a big a deal as this though because Chase didn't have the national clout that the Clintons do. He also wasn't seen as the front runner at any time during the nomination process like Clinton. Plus I think Lincoln could only truely unite the party by appointing Chase, who was a hero to abolitionists. But Obama can unite the party without Hillary. Obama doesn't need her to unite the party.

  •  Obama has read this book, and recommended it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystal eyes

    I'm black, and therefore automatically vote exclusively for black candidates. You're white and choose only based on the issues.

    by brooklynbadboy on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 09:03:14 PM PST

  •  Loved the book, and was thinking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystal eyes

    the same thing.

    •  There were moments in the debate (0+ / 0-)

      when Hillary was smiling at Barack with respect and other times when she would be shaking her head in agreement as he was speaking.  
      I think when the election is over they will have a fine and productive working relationship.  The man does not collect enemies.

      "This chamber is, for the most part, silent---ominously, dreadfully, silent." (Sen. Byrd on the eve of the Iraq invasion)

      by crystal eyes on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 10:33:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, while I don't think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystal eyes

    she should necassarily be moved from the Senate (I tend to be reluctant to move anyone from a position to which, they've just been elected - or in her case, releceted), but I do see some possiblities for her - I know there has been talk of Majority leader, as well as Supreme Court Justice.  

    As for the rest of the candidates - I think it'd be a great idea to use them as well.  Again, I hesistate to pull anyone from their current position (assuming they are a sitting Senator - or possibly governor), but I think its a great idea.

    IMHO, Edwards and Richardson should be on the short list for a cabinent, as well.

  •  Would note that Lincoln's former opponents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystal eyes

    also had some fatal flaws. Their missteps and Lincoln's steps both contributed to Lincoln becoming the nominee.

    It is an excellent book.

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