Before Barack Obama strode onto the stage at Cooper Union’s Great Hall this morning reporters in the rear were giving their over-under estimates on how many times Obie would invoke Abraham Lincoln during his speech. Three to four times was the most common bet; one predicted at least ten.
The chairman of the Cooper Union board of trustees opened by dropping the name four times, mentioning the Lincoln lectern and the ‘Right Makes Might’ speech; Mayor Bloomberg, who introduced Obama, gave his own Lincoln refs, talking about ‘another senator from Illinois running for president.’ The billionaire pol even described a (presumably fabulously expensive) Lincoln statue by Daniel Chester French that he decorates the mayatollah’s East Side mansion.
But Obama—ever the coolster—never even dropped Honest Abe’s name. He simply said the someone else from his state “made a speech here and that turned out pretty good.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 27, 2008