February 12th, 2009
03:33 PM ET
6 years ago

In Ford’s Theater, Obama invokes forbidden word

 On a trip to Ford’s Theater, site of President Lincoln’s assassination, Obama paid tribute to the 16th president’s ability to recall passages of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth.
On a trip to Ford’s Theater, site of President Lincoln’s assassination, Obama paid tribute to the 16th president’s ability to recall passages of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It’s a word so fraught with superstition, its very mention can send grown men ducking for cover — and President Obama used it Wednesday night.

Macbeth.

On a trip to Ford’s Theater, site of President Lincoln’s assassination, Obama paid tribute to the 16th president’s ability to recall passages of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth. And with that reference, he unwittingly ventured into what many theater hands believe to be dangerous territory: any mention of the name of the doomed Scottish king in a theater outside of a performance is considered verboten by many actors, who believe it will result in a cursed production — including a greater possibility of injury, bankruptcy, even death.

So does Obama have anything to fear from uttering the unluckiest word in what may be the unluckiest theater in American history? Theater-goers can relax: Many stage afficianados believe that the prohibition only applies to performers or theater hands, and non-actors have nothing to worry about.

But in the near future, the president might want to stick to movies. Just to be on the safe side.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. walleye

    Yeah Right. And if you send this email to 999 of your friends you will receive two free tickets to Fords Theatre.

    February 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Rennie in Montana

    You're kidding me?! Surely there was a cute animal story somewhere in the nation that would have been more news worthy than this.

    February 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. JD

    Macbeth? The forbidden words should be "stimulus package"...aka "porkulus".

    February 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. BC in NC

    DUH

    February 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. David in Indiana

    To: Everyone who chooses not to believe

    God deals with rejection everyday. So, your comments are nothing new. 2 Corinthians 4: 1-18 May God bless you.

    February 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Gee, it becomes more clear why Obama is president after reading some of these blogs, there isn't too much intelligence to chose from.

    February 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. Smart people

    Butch Dillon February 12th, 2009 12:44 pm ET

    Sounds every bit as reasonable as the nonsense that religious morons believe.
    ________________________________________________

    Just had to throw that in there huh? Why do my beliefs make me a moron? Since you aren't a moron and obviously have all the answers please explain your beliefs and why they are so much more credible than mine. I don't get people like you. I have strong religeous beliefs, but i don't feel that it's neccessary to put others down because they dont share the same ideas.

    February 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. steve ehrlich

    When is Barack Obama going to meet with world leaders. These one on one town meetings he's been holding early in his presidency are way too premature. He has to be a statesman and formulate policy, not a philanthropist who helps out people individually . The woman in Florida who he hugged and said he was going to help reminded me of the old NBC show Queen for a Day where the host Jack Bailey would pick out a woman in the audience with a sob story and shower her with gifts. This is not what Pres. Obama is supposed to be doing. He is supposed to be formulating policy for the nation, not helping individuals one on one. When is he going to meet with Vladimir Putin. Gordon Brown, Sarkozy, Bibi Netanyahu or Tzipi Livni, whichever one wins the election, Angela Merkel and Premier Hu Bin Wao of China. Thus far he's acted rather naive in his first few weeks as president. He 's got to be a statesman, not a grievance counselor.

    February 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. southerncousin

    Tony@-That nice SCHIP program the libercrats passed and Hussein of course signed to take more of our money "for the children" also includes illeagal aliens. It just makes you sick.

    February 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. Larry

    The forbidden word will soon be Democrat--this is not superstition this is real.

    February 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Dean in Florida

    "Rosebud..."

    February 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. A in TX

    1. It costs money to produce a lame story like this.
    2. It requires commercials to pay for lame stories.
    3. It costs companies money to pay for commercials on CNN.
    4. It costs consumers in added product cost for commercials.

    Lame Story–>CNN–>Commercials–>Consumer.

    We are all responsible for supporting this type of nonsense. The great thing about this nation is that you can express your discontent with your pocketbook.

    February 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. Adam in KC

    What do you mean he's not an actor? His whole campaign, Roman columns and all, was a big theatrical stageshow. I wonder if a big hooked cane will sweep him offstage next time he has another scripted press conference.

    February 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. mark Harvey

    this is not news. the ticker is not for the kind of human interest story you might read in a church newsletter. it is not for accounts of the 'beauty' of obama's speeches either. why don't you give me some substance?

    February 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Mr. Semaj

    I wonder what lame news articles will CNN come up with for Friday the 13th...

    February 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. insanity

    Dear Eyes of Texas are Upon You ,

    The ratings for FOX is high because it's the only channel that is truly biased towards Republicans. So anyone who has a bias towards republicans will watch it. Since it's the only republican news channel, all republicans go to that, whereas the other channels are sharing the rest of the viewers.

    FOX is a scam. I watch Hannity, and Orielly from time to time. They lie through their teeth sometimes. They do that knowing very well or hoping, their audience is not that bright.

    February 12, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. gary n.

    @ Tony

    The way that our politicians have given away the farm makes my skin crawl.Why is there so little public outcry.

    February 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Soccer Nana

    @Pepito the Cool February 12th, 2009 12:02 pm ET

    "It's over for Obama. He's doomed politically, socially, and carnally. Good ridance."

    Only in your dreams, my friend, only in your dreams.

    President Obama will be fine; this Country will recover and be just as good or greater than it has ever been before.

    You, my friend, will just have to live with it or move.

    February 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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