Obama: I deal with worse than Lincoln

Asked how he deals with congressional criticism yesterday, President Barack Obama replied, saying:

“When you listen to what the federalists said about the anti-federalists … those guys were tough. Lincoln, they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me.”

-Barack Obama, during Q&A on his bus tour through the Midwest

I think this statement says a lot about the President. In his mind, he is dealing with a Madison-, Roosevelt- or Wilson-caliber crisis. And apparently the President also believes the political environment he must manage is even more partisan and poisonous than the one that Lincoln, the President who presided over the American Civil War, dealt with.

Here’s what the Daily Caller writes about it (hat tip Tom):

The comparison “is hysterical … that is really laughable in many respects,” said Alvin Felzenberg, the author of a book on American presidents. “You couldn’t print things today they said about Lincoln.” Felzenberg teaches at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and was the chief spokesman for the 9/11 Commission.

Criticism of Lincoln in his day “was even more vitriolic than what you see about Obama,” said Eric Foner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian at Columbia University. “Obama is a guy who has a thin skin and does not take criticism well.”

Harper’s Weekly used the following term to describe Abraham Lincoln (hat tip Marshall):

Filthy Story-Teller, Despot, Liar, Thief, Braggart, Buffoon, Usurper, Monster, Ignoramus Abe, Old Scoundrel, Perjurer, Robher, Swindler, Tyrant, Field-Butcher, Land-Pirate.


Personally, I think this ‘worse than Lincoln’ thing is one of the more ridiculous things I have heard the President say. I hope he was just joking because it’s this kind of attitude that is going to make him a one–term President.

  1. John Haskell says

    the comment about the Federalists and anti-Federalists makes this sound like a joke. I mean, Obama does know there is not an actual civil war going on… right?

  2. Edward Harrison says

    You do have to wonder about whether he WAS joking. I don’t have audio though. Let’s hope it was a joke because right now it looks pretty ridiculous.

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