February 12th, 2009
10:00 AM ET
5 years ago

White House calls on historian for Lincoln speech input

(CNN) – White House officials say President Obama’s speechwriter has had several conversations with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in crafting today’s speech for the Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in Springfield, Illinois.

The president's brief, 5-10 minute remarks will touch on the familiar themes of reconciliation, rising to the challenge of the times, and changing history, but will not break any policy ground. The only time he will talk about the economic stimulus package today is at the Caterpillar factory in Peoria, Illinois, before 200 workers.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. chris

    yes "look im like licoln dont pay attention to the fact that my being president is a joke"

    February 12, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. dittoheads and Handbaskets

    Im sure Lincoln would be very sad today if he see the south still trying to bring back slavery and divide the country.

    February 12, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Hulio

    how cool !

    February 12, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Andy J, Upstate NY

    more useless news

    if you can even call it news

    how about reporting the pathetic figures in the "stimulus" package.

    $13 bucks extra every week, starting in JUNE, then dropping to $8 a week in JANUARY.

    THAT IS PATHETIC.

    February 12, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Mike

    For the record, Obama is no Lincoln. Lincoln was a Republican.

    February 12, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Bob in Pa

    Should have just called Hillary, I'm sure she probably spoke to him too.

    February 12, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Typical White Person

    History rewrites itself:

    Top five causes of the Civil War of 1861

    1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.
    2. States versus federal rights
    3. The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents..
    4. Growth of the Abolition Movement.
    5. The election of Abraham Lincoln.

    Top five causes of the Civil War of 2010

    1. Economic and social differences between middlecl@ss and goverment program policies.
    2. Individual versus federal rights.
    3. The fight between socialists and capitolists.
    4. Growth of the socialist movement.
    5. The election of Barak Obama.

    February 12, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. yuri

    Lincoln's 200th birth day is a land mark, a milestone, and even an epiphany for the entire humanity, not just for the US politicians. This event shoud and must be a sobering moment , as the historians reminisce those civil war days with quite a shudder, dismay, and at the same time, with a sense of flat out admiration of his towering persobnality. Long live his memory!

    February 12, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Knox

    TWP- you should change your name to Typical Republican Shill, as I see you have the chronic drive to over exaggerate the evils of the federal government while calling everyone who doesn't agree with you a socialist. Obama is no more a socialist than Ronald Reagan was a fascist. Hurry...I think Rush has is waiting for you over at the kool-aid dispenser.

    February 12, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Do people really think Obama is like Lincoln? If so why? Lincoln was a republican and a conservative. Obama is a democrat and a Liberal. Neither of them were/are moderates.

    Typical White Person,
    That Is clearly well thought out. I can see your train of thought and it dose make sense. That said, I hope you are wrong about your 2010 prediction.

    February 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. sg

    Do you think Lincoln would have limited the infrastructure jobs to non white male construction workers? Are ther other jobs the Robert Reich doesn't want us to hold or apply for?

    February 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Marcie, GA

    Great choice, Doris is a great council.

    Obama 2012

    February 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. Kendall, NC

    Well, Doris can start working now in getting George W. Bush's name on the "Worst President Ever List".

    LOL, it's so funny, but I just typed in "worst president ever" in Google, and guess who's name came up....you guessed it George W. Bush.

    February 12, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Eyes of Texas are Upon You

    When has he ever had "brief 5 – 10 minute" remarks? It took him at least 10 minutes to answer the reporters' questions in his press conference Mon. The man is a total loser! A joke not worth laughing at!

    February 12, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Larry Houston Texas

    I've been watching Soledad's interviews & so on, she's doing a good Job.....But, I would like to comment regarding Lincoln. The people she has interviewed, one has said Lincoln didn't Look Back, where he was raised, and went ON in Life, and becoming a Politician, Lawyer,
    and finally, went on to the White House.....Here's a question for you, CNN, Did You know that when you compare a Penny / a Nickel / a Quarter / a 50 cent Piece / did you know that all the Presidents HEADS are looking ONE WAY, except for Lincoln's ??

    Could you find out the real reason why ?

    I've heard, the reason was : When he "freed the slaves" a lot of the american people & people in congress & etc. were so ticked off at his idea, and when he actually did that, he didn't "Look Back" and that's how and why they put his head "looking the other way" when they made the "penny".....

    Would like to know if this is true ?

    February 12, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. S Callahan

    Typical white should have the name of 'Insight'.....

    Doris is a favorite on Charlie Ross's nightly show...she really is a bright woman who brings the historical experience alive....they were wise to choose her.

    February 12, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. New Mexicana

    Obama's remarks were spot-on. Linking Americans to their history at this time is essential to our understanding of current history. Lincoln is perhaps the most important figure in the formation of the "modern" America...there will be no other who is so important.

    The Civil War is complicated, complex, and distilling. Every school child, every college student, every mature learner would benefit from a fresh approach to educating themselves about the social and economic issues crystalized in the civil War.

    Thanks for bringing Lincoln's legacy to your readers. Keep on, keeping on.

    February 12, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. garrick

    we will always for years to come have whites that want slavery to remain,some how the US need to heal and come together,for me the kkk is like the terroist,but we cant treat them like that.for what ever reason they have to hate i will never understand,but i can keep teaching my kids how to love and not treat people different because of the color of someones skin or difference.

    February 12, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Griff

    You could/can buy Licolns Speaches on a CD disc.. I know I have one. Bought eight years ago.. Along with most famous Literature.

    February 12, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Bill

    When I read the headline, I though Joe 'in my own words' Biden was giving the speech.

    February 12, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. kelly WI

    Its time he switched from Nanny in chief to commander in Chief.
    There are 5 countries poking at his weakness already.

    February 12, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. jaye

    I love listening to Ms. Goodwin.
    She's so smart and so entertaining – and she knows her stuff.

    February 12, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Once you vote Black

    Lincoln said he would not free the black unless he had to. I think he had to. It might not have started over slavery, but it sure ended over slavery. The Civil War was about different things for different people. South fought for their RATS. North for $ Blacks for freedom, Brits French and Germans for influance.

    February 12, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. aware

    Look at Nero while you are at it! :(

    February 12, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. Simpliticus

    Think about it! George W. Bush couldn't have handed Barack Obama a better opportunity to become a great president as we come to find out that the Bush administration knew about the faltering economy and did nothing about it, thus the Madoff calamity by the SEC. TYPICAL WHITE PERSON should not be alarmed that a black president came after Bush,hell, anybody coming after Bush will be a great president in comparison. If you likes to be raped and pillaged, Bush is your man!

    February 12, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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