October 9th, 2007
03:58 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama looks to Lincoln

Watch Sen. Barack Obama discuss President Abraham Lincoln.

LONDONDERRY, New Hampshire (CNN) ­– At a picturesque New England setting, perched close to apple orchards and pumpkin patches, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, was asked by New Hampshire voters which former president he admired the most and why.

“I suppose I’m biased because I’m from Illinois, but there’s a tall skinny guy who the Washington folks didn’t think had much experience, who had served in the state legislature there, and then a couple years in Congress before taking on the presidency who did pretty well. I am a great admirer of [Abraham] Lincoln,” Obama told the group.

While acknowledging Lincoln was “very much a politician,” the presidential hopeful noted, “he is somebody who had the capacity to draw on the best of the American people and to see the good or at least the points of view of the whole country and that didn’t make him paralyzed.”

Obama called Lincoln’s integrity, empathy and honesty rare qualities in today’s leaders.

–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. laurinda,ny

    Obama is turning into such a drama queen. Abraham Lincoln was his favorite President. Did you ever hear of such a thing. All these presidents we've had he picks Honest Abe. One of those apples in that orchard he was standing in must of hit him on his head.

    October 9, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. anon, new york, NY

    mmm, Obama likens himself as Joshua, then JFK, now Lincoln.... What next?

    October 9, 2007 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  3. Leila, Long Beach, CA

    It's a shame that people feel threatened by Obama's straightforwardness, honesty ("I will not be a perfect president..."), integrity, unscripted human qualities.

    Thankfully, his ideals are not overshadowed by the cynics.

    Thank you, Obama, for being true to yourself and to your country!

    Obama '08

    October 10, 2007 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  4. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    I, like Obama, also find Lincoln to be one of my favorite presidents of the United States. In his time, Lincoln freed all Afro-Americans from slavery (though, pitifully, it took well over 100 years for their respect to come about). Obama merely wants to return the favor by changing America to be far better than it is now.

    Obama '08

    October 10, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. laurinda,ny

    I just can't believe that all of you can just sit back and not realize that Obama is mentally ill. All he talks about is churches and now Abraham Lincoln. Also that James from Phoenix, the real one and the fake one. They keep arguing with each other. Nobody sees anything wrong with that either. What is wrong with everybody.

    October 10, 2007 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  6. laurinda.ny

    Well, better a sick opinion then none at all.

    October 10, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. Aaron, Lynnwood, WA

    Now he thinks he's lincoln? Is this a joke?

    October 10, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Aaron, Lynnwood, WA

    Lincoln freed the slaves, which was good. He also sent more men to die in a single battle than any other president. And now Obama's talking about how we have to attack Pakistan. He's right, the similarities are shocking.

    I don't want to get drafted, so I'm voting for the only person that cares about my freedom over their ideals... Ron Paul '08

    October 10, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Erik, Naperville, IL

    Does anyone else sense a disproportionate amount of anger or envy in the comments left here? Why do people feel the need to belittle political candidates? Let's look in the mirror folks. Politicians wouldn't speak in such simple terms if the masses weren't receptive to it. We get what we deserve. I for one see a keen intellect behind the simple facade that Mr. Obama affects. He affects it to earn the votes of simple minded Americans. Not because he is one himself. Unlike our current President.

    October 10, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Richard Tabuteau, Atlanta, GA

    People who add comments on CNN should be asked to prove their ability to comprehend English. Obama was asked which president he admired most and why. He answered the question exactly. Yet Laurinda criticizes him for being a drama queen, Anon says that he's likening himself to Lincoln, Laurinda next says that he's mentally ill, and Aaron says that he thinks he's Lincoln. I've read this article three times now and cannot seem to understand what these people are talking about. Unless you're trying out for a pundit position on Fox News, stick to the facts. Lincoln was an extraordinary president. After Washington, I can't think of an American president who is more admired. What is the controversy Laurinda, Anon, and Aaron are trying to stir up?

    October 10, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Leila, Long Beach, CA

    I urge you to READ, READ, READ!

    "Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, was asked by New Hampshire voters which former president he admired the most and why."

    Did you not read the freakin' article?!?
    Obama was asked a question and he answered. It's very simple. He did not say he is Lincoln–He said he ADMIRED Lincoln.

    I am so sick & tired of people taking things out of context and not sticking to the facts.

    Enough is enough.

    October 10, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    The standard of education in this country is so poor as representated by the comments on this board. We Americans in general lack the ability to read and comprehend what we read. This article did not say Obama was comparing himself to Lincoln, all he said was he admire Lincoln. A big difference. God!, bunch of "bone heads"

    October 10, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Erik, Naperville, IL

    Thanks Richard Tabuteau. It's good to know there are other reasonable people out there.

    October 10, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. VanReuter NY NY

    The more important question Barack Hussein Obama should have been asked,

    "Which former Vice President he admired the most and why"

    That's the closest he will get. Hillary is running away with the nomination.


    October 10, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Those who are criticizing Obama, whom I do not support, for expressing his feelings about Lincoln are using what I call the "Bart Simpson" offense. Principal Skinner says, "Children, I know you like to talk in class but..."

    At which point, Bart jumps up and says in a singsong voice, "The principal said 'butt', the principal said 'butt.'"

    The problem with democracy is that half the voters have a below-average IQ.

    October 10, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Ok so now the media has resorted to watching Hillary tying her shoes to give the Media SOME justification on covering her. Bottom line, it was not fair for Obama to get his CALLING right now. NOT Right NOW Hillary. We AGREE with that point. It was supposed to be YOU right now. We have all been there, were you are right now. So we can all sympathies with you. BUT we all have to put out COUNTRY first! There is just too much going on. If we ALL put our insecurities, hate, jealousy’s aside. We can see that the greatest nation on earth is about to show it and lead the world with a candidate that we All can see he was BORN to lead this Nation at this time! You know how we see our baby daughters in diapers singing with the hair brush and we say Oh lord she is going to be a some singer or our 2 year old sons playing grab the ducky toy at the bottom of the bath tub with their mouths while holding their breath and we say Oh lord he is going to be some swimmer. THAT’S what we see in OBAMA. ANYONE who heard him speak at the Convention 2004 though t what I did at the time. WHO THE BELL IS THAT? HE SHOULD BE PRESIDENT. HOW DARE HE GET UP THERE AND TALK ALL THAT TRUTH AND HOPE!! HIS COLOR DIDN'T MATTER AS I WAS NOT INITIALLY WATCHING THE TV SCREEN. He just seems born to do this. LETS LET HIM…

    October 11, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  17. Jake SD CA

    I'm relieved that at least some of the responders have the ability to read. No where does it say that Obama compared himself to Lincoln. It's not that hard to read a few paragraphs before responding with your rants. You just appear foolish when you are ill informed

    October 11, 2007 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  18. Joe, Florida

    In my opinion, FDR is right up there with Abe, if not above.

    October 11, 2007 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  19. Julia Gardiner Tyler, NYC

    So Obama likens himself to Lincoln. LOL.

    Does that mean if he is elected President, he will suspend civil liberties in a national "emergency," persecute those who disagree with his policies, and make a move on moral issues only when it's politically expedient?

    October 11, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. RuthieM

    Obama has obviously always had these wonderful qualities, qualities that will make him the best president since - Abraham Lincoln!!!!

    October 11, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Wes Shell, Rapid City, SD

    It is obvious that many of us who race to judge do so without having an educated base in which to back it. Simple fact is, this should be no surprise to anyone who is paying attention. Obama has phrased Lincoln publicly since his time in the IL State Senate. He also details his admiration of the previous president in his books. The reason why GW is in charge of the free world is because the power to put him there lies in the hands of uneducated Americans that look at the presidency as a popularity contest similar to choosing the Prom King. All I can say is I hope for the sake of the world that "America" (speaking of the general peoples whom make it up) Grows Up and graduates from this adolescent style of politics. There is far too much at risk not to.

    October 11, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Alexandra: Kennesaw, GA

    Look, everyone makes silly comments/statements but honestly this woman is not able to articulate herself very well. No one should never bash a religion....EVER! We're all entitled to our own opinions/beliefs. She just went about everything ALL wrong. I don't believe Christianity should be the donimate religion. I just hope that at some point everyone agrees upon something that will benefit everyone, meaning those who are religious and those who aren't. Not one religion against another.

    October 11, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  23. Dave, NY, NY

    He obviously didn't think out his choice of presidents very well. Most of the actions of the outspoken opponets of the current war would have gotten themselves labeled as treasonous.

    October 11, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |