February 12th, 2009
11:52 AM ET

Morning Buzz: What Would Lincoln Do

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/books/02/12/lincoln.book.white/art.cover.lincoln.rh.jpg]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

If you bump into Lincoln look-alikes today on the street, don’t be surprised. It’s the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth so those long beards and top hats will be out in full force today. Even if “Honest Abe” is not around to celebrate, many in the nation’s capital and other spots in the country will celebrate for him. This is as good a reason for a party as any, yes?

President Obama has said on several occasions he looks to the 16th president for inspiration, because "he (Lincoln) constantly learned on the job, he got better, he wasn’t defensive or arrogant about his tasks. He was systematic about saying he would master the job and I understand it will take some time.”

The President will have more to say about this past President during ceremonies today. He may be in a good mood to celebrate given that it looks like he scored a legislative victory with regard to the stimulus package he has been pushing.

Congress came to a compromise on a $789 billion package that most Democrats + 3 Republicans believe will help Americans in this tough economy. Congress is putting final touches on this bill and we should get a more detailed look at what is in it today. We'll report its impact on YOU tonight.

You can bet that some lawmakers, especially Republicans, will howl again about this bill. Sen. Lindsey Graham complained, “This is worse than nothing… we have got a spending bill, not a job creation bill.” It looks like Dems will get the bill to the Oval Office in time for President Obama to sign it on President’s Day, which is Monday, and meet his original timetable.

President Obama visits workers at the Caterpillar construction equipment plan in Peoria, Illinois, which is his 3rd stop on a high profile effort to sell this plan. He believes the stimulus plan is already stimulating, and will mention that machinery giant Caterpillar will re-hire some of its laid-off workers if Congress passes the bill.

Tonight, President Obama ends up in Lincoln celebration in Springfield, Illniois for brief remarks in Primetime at the 102nd Abraham Lincoln Association Annual Banquet. We’ll make sure to replay the highlights and offer reporting on the above and more tonight.

See u then!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Ms Chanel

    Could you explain this, Please...

    Abe Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
    John Kennedy was elected in 1946.
    Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
    John Kennedy was elected in 1960.
    Both were particularly concerned with Civil Rights.
    Both wives lost their children while living in the white house.
    Both presidents were shot on Friday.
    Both presidents were shot in the head.

    Now it gets really weird.

    Lincoln's Secretary was named Kennedy.
    Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.
    Both were assassinated by southerners.
    Both were succeeded by southerners named Johnson.
    Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
    Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
    John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
    Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
    Both assassins were known by their three names.
    Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

    Now hang on to your seat.

    Lincoln was shot in a theater named 'Ford'.
    Kennedy was shot in a car called 'Lincoln' made by Ford.
    Lincoln was shot in a theater and ran and hid in a warehouse.
    Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.
    Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

    And here's the kicker....

    A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.
    A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.

    Creepy huh?

    This is a history lesson people need to be reading!

    February 15, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  2. Michelle

    At least Pres. Barack Obama decided on a notable role model. Its too bad our children today are surrounded by role models that end up in on steroids, or caught smoking pot. Perhaps the focus on Lincoln will steer some of our children back to basics and the adults back to the very ideals that created the democracy for this great Country. Don't lose site this Country is still very young at heart compared to many other countries we still have lots of growing pains to work through.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  3. Luis

    Lincoln would follow the constitution.

    1.End the Federal Reserve.

    2. Dont allow the Treasury to start buying up private companies.

    To begin with..................

    February 12, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  4. wayne

    Hey is anybody upset that gas is $2.00 a gallon and Oil is only $33.98 a barrel? Wall street got us now the Oil companies and no one seems to be outraged by it.

    February 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  5. Ruth in Phoenix

    Comparing Obama to Lincoln is like comparing apples to oranges. We live in a different world. Our founding fathers including Lincoln would turn over in their graves at how we have raped the system they founded.

    February 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  6. Jai

    While listening to Cnn , I keep hearing the anchors say Barack Obama, I never hear any of the Senators or Congress persons call President Obama by his fisrt name why has your new cast become so familar not to use the title of the President for 44th person of office?
    I called former President George W. Bush by president while in office.
    I am the only one who has heard this error in reporting?

    February 12, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    President Lincoln's father was not black; I'm not sure where the commenter above got that story but it is false. Historians have never raised the question of Lincoln's father's race because there was no doubt. In fact, Lincoln's family did not own slaves – his wife's family did.

    President Lincoln did fund the beginning of the war off of tariffs but those soon proved inadequate and he instituted the first income tax in 1862 for the duration of the war. After the war was over it was repealed in 1868 only to be set again through a constitutional amendment in 1913.

    I doubt that Lincoln would be much surprised by anything today. Congress was not exactly meek and mild during his tenure and the problems he faced with the Civil War were such that he feared the Confederacy might prevail. He and Obama would probably find much to agree on and a lot of similarities between them.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  8. Lincoln Logic

    It is obvious based on Lincoln's character that he wouldn't be putting forth a stimulus bill that calls on people to hock their future and the future of generations to come. Remember, Lincoln grew up too poor for a proper education, but worked his way up from that poverty by educating himself.

    That, my fellow Americans, is what Lincoln would do....tell us to help our neighbor...share what we have....and not dig a deeper hole to crawl out of. Oh, if only our president really followed Lincoln logic.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  9. Ed

    February 12th, 2009 1:35 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Abraham Lincoln, Sully Sullenberger, Barack Obama, Arlen Spector, and Anderson Cooper all have big ears and big brains that help them hear and understand. I’m not a believer in phrenology but there appears to be some relationship

    NOTE: Please correct E-mail address

    February 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  10. richard robertson

    "What would Lincoln do?"

    President Lincoln would probably do what he tried back in 1863...
    He would try a Constitutional issue of debt-free, interest-free currency, even a limited issue, the benefits would be apparent immediately.!!!

    That the Banks must prevent this !!! 🙁

    Abraham Lincoln was the last President to issue such debt-free and interest–free currency (in 1863) and he was assassinated shortly thereafter by an agent of the Rothschild Bank.... double 🙁 🙁

    Here are a couple of tips for the day!

    "If nothing changes? Nothing changes!"

    "Do what you always did? You will get what you always got!"

    "Contempt prior to investigation will keep a man in everlasting ignorance!"

    Please read, "BILLION$ for the BANKER$....DEBTS for the PEOPLE"
    The real cause of inflation and deflation...

    View this pamphlet at:


    By the deceased Pastor Sheldon Emry (1982) Phoenix, Arizona

    February 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  11. c,ca

    The country is so divided lately, I'm afraid that if things don't start to improve, Pres. Obama's similarity with Pres. Lincoln could turn out to be a civil war between the haves and the have-nots.

    There is so much anger in the public. People are absolutely furious about the corporate fraud, the banking bonuses, Wall Street, etc. This presidential election was so divisive, and the politicians just continue to fuel the fires with their partisanship.

    Middle class people are completely fed up. We used to be angry about having to support welfare recipients – NOW we're angry about having to pay for these banking guys that are getting paid millions. We're running out of funds to take care of the rich and the poor because our savings in our 401Ks are gone.

    We will be patient, but something has got to give. The Partys have to start working together. The States and the Feds have to start working together. It's getting hot in here because people are steaming mad.

    I voted for Pres. Obama and I have faith in him. I think they are trying their best to solve this crisis. I don't expect it to happen overnight. I would just like to see some demonstration of working cooperatively.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  12. Ed

    Abraham Lincoln, Sully Sullenberger, Barack Obama, Arlen Spector, and Anderson Cooper all have big ears and big brains that help them hear and understand. I'm not a believer in phrenology but there appears to be some relationship

    February 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  13. Gilby-HI

    Pres. Lincoln took office just weeks away from a civil war.
    Pres. Obama takes office with financial problems.
    But the problems come from the same place. A Congress that is out of control.
    When Pres. Lincoln was asked about Congress and the Southern Democrates his quote was, " I must run the machine as I find it ".
    Unfortunately Pres. Obama is the same party as the Congresss.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Hopefully he would get rid of the people who do nothing, that's most of the politicians in office. We need to throw the lot of them out.

    The republicans and democrats only have their best interests in heart which is NOT what public service is about.

    I pray Barack Obama can get us back to helping the PEOPLE rather than ripping the people off and abusing their power. It's RAMPANT in California. I'm sick of it!

    February 12, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  15. Linda

    Are you going to mention the similarity of Obama to Lincoln of having a black birth father? I think that ties in with the wonderful story of both men's humble beginnings and bravery to follow. Lincoln's white father parent wasn't able to conceive and it was common in those days, to use a slave for conceiving. Then, as we know, in Lincoln's case, a male black slave, who also was treated as a family friend, with Lincoln's mother conceived Lincoln. Please write me back on this. Thank you.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  16. Joe G. (From Illinois)

    They say that one’s own inspirations are just reflections of what one is not and wishes to be.. But it also goes without saying that all that said is only applicable to those individual who keep their inspiration secret or private to themselves. In Obama’s case I would hide under a bunker.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  17. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    The destiny of President Obama resides in his character. It is not what Lincolon would have done--it is what Obama is going to do.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  18. The Lord Is the best Way Out Of this

    face it people this world is coming to a end its in the bible. was going on in this world today had to be done is history.the worst is yet to come this is just the begining. there will be a time when there will be so much money we wont know wat to do with it .there would be a time when there wont be any money the only way to eat and make it if you stamp your self. .best thing to do is look for the lord he has all the money and all the gold you could amagin. not even congress or the president it self could make this happen with out the lords help. so plz look for him he is in every corner of your community there are churches every were you look .there should be no excuse for not fallowing the lord expecialy wen thing are happening in this world today.

    !!!few words !!

    February 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  19. tlc

    Amen, Alley!

    February 12, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  20. sean brizendine

    anderson the stimulus bill is a must but frankly back in the days of lincoln the government did not have the ability to function like it does today financially, its main source of revenue was from tarriff's because there was no federal reserve, in fact the civil war was funded by private bankers so to say what would lincoln do i have to say that he would probably let the cards fall as they may and move forward with those who survive.
    "sean in santa rosa"

    February 12, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  21. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    The destiny of President Obama lies in his character. It is not what Lincoln would have done--it is what Obama is going to do!

    February 12, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  22. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    What would Lincoln do? The destiny of President Obama lies in his character--similar Presidents-–but different times.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  23. Linda

    Who cares what Lincoln would do. He's not here. What matters is what the present administration does. And apparently it will be the same as before, nothing to help the middle class.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  24. Alley florida

    I am so relieved that we have the stimulus package in final motion. I hope the voters for those republican senators are taking note. Our country is in crisis, the republican senate represents the people who elected them. You cannot tell me that their total boycot (with the exception of 3) of this stimulus package represents the views of the people who elected them. Their actions are selfserving and show just what bad losers they are.

    If the stimulus fails to do what it is intended to do then is the time to be critical. If Abe Lincoln was to go to the senate he would remind them "government for the people by the people." The people need the government to work for them at this time not against them.

    I am embarrassed for our country. The senate republicans are making us a laughing stock throughout the political world. How can we hope to regain respect from those countries who perceive the strength of a nation based on its political leadership when we have half the government acting like contentious kindergartners?

    February 12, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  25. earle,florida

    Would you like your loaf sliced, or whole the negotiator asked ,from behind the podium. I responded with a resounding,"No"! The following day the same negotiator said; when asked, there were only half-loafs available due to high demand. Needless to say, I had no recourse but to except the half-loaf. Several days later, the negotiator was offering only slices of the loaf,I quizzed him about the remarkable changes that occurred in less than a week,and his only reply was to shrug his shoulders,mumbling," I don't know"? Later that same day,being very frustrated by the negotiators weak excuses, I went back to the podium where the negotiator no longer held shop,to find only a clerk sweeping up the floor. I asked the clerk politely, where was the negotiator? The clerk said to me in a mild-manner tone that the building was condemmed, and infested with rats, feasting on all the crumbs left-over from the half-loafs,...? PS The working stiff got duped again!

    February 12, 2009 at 9:36 am |