CBS and Another ‘Obama is Lincoln’ Story

Warner Todd Huston | November 20, 2012 

Sadly, the debut of Director Steven Spielberg’s epic film about our 16th President is being used by many Old Media outlets as propaganda to push the concept that Barack Obama is in the same league or, worse, is somehow just like Abraham Lincoln. On November 15 it was CBS This Morning’s turn to couple one of our most famous presidents to the current resident of the White House.

On the network morning show recently breaking in as the top rated morning program, CBS This Morning hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell kicked off their Lincoln segment attempting to link Abe Lincoln and Obama by gravely wondering if there was a “lesson for Obama, now in his second term, with Lincoln?”

The pair were interviewing liberal historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin, whose book Team of Rivals was used as source material for Spielberg’s new movie.

In response, Kearns-Goodwin made the facile claim that Obama has done the same thing Lincoln did by filling his cabinet with rivals that he’d beaten for the nomination for president. This of course, is nonsense. While Obama did chose former rival Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State, the rest of his cabinet were not serious Obama rivals. On the other hand, Lincoln appointed nearly all his most powerful rivals to his cabinet—all of whom were leading party powers of their day.

What about Joe Biden, you ask? While it is true that Obama made Biden his VP, no one can claim that Biden was ever a serious rival when comparing his career to those of Lincoln’s cabinet. Kearns-Goodwin also made another a-historical claim.

The trouble with our country now: it’s so divided that the other party might feel it’s a traitorous act to join a Cabinet. And in – even in FDR’s time, he brought two top Republicans into his cabinet. He brought businessmen to run his production agencies, because we had a war. We got to figure that now. We are under a common problem to get this economy going again, and I think he’ll bring in who he can. The question is, will they come?

This is so much stuff. To name just a few, Obama chose Ray LaHood, an Illinois Republican, to be his Transportation Secretary, he didn’t agitate to replace the Republican nominated Fed Head, Ben Bernanke, he included assumed Republican-leaning economist Austin Goolsbee in his administration, he initially kept on Michael Hayden, Bush’s CIA Chief, and he didn’t immediately fire Bush’s Director of National Intelligence, Michael McConnell. These aren’t the only Republicans—or nominal Republicans, anyway—that have served or are serving in the Obama administration. There’s also John McHugh, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, and late GOP candidate for the nomination for president Jon Huntsman who is periodically mentioned as a candidate for one post or another under Obama and already once served as the President’s ambassador to China.

Say what you will about all those individual Republicans, it seems to make the lie to Kearns-Goodwin’s claim, doesn’t it? I mean it doesn’t seem much like a climate where all Republicans think it’s “traitorous” to work in Obama’s administration, does it?

Next Gayle King seemed to be starstruck with Kearns-Goodwin who was supposedly contacted by Obama about her Lincoln book.

“What did he (Obama) want to know from you,” King asked dreamily.

Sadly, Kearns-Goodwin destroyed what little credibility she has left, pandering to the moon-eyed pair by throwing out the absurd claim that Abe Lincoln “could be with” Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart in a “one-on-one” exchange.

Note the nonsensical connotation here that Colbert or Stewart might be Lincoln’s equal or even his superior since Kearns-Goodwin is obviously surprised that Lincoln could go “one-on-one” with the two clowning comedians.

It would be more shocking if the two TV funnymen would have the mental capacity to go one-on-one with Lincoln, as opposed to the other way ‘round!

It might be remembered that Doris Kearns-Goodwin has been proven as a plagiarist in the past, and not just once but several times.

As noted above, CBS is only the latest Old Media outlet to try and use this new movie as fodder to pump up Barack Obama’s failed presidency to legendary status. On November 11, the NBC Nightly News Claimed that Lincoln’s greatness basically reminded them of Obama’s greatness, and the next day, MSNBC claimed that there were “fascinating parallels” between Obama and the martyred 16th President.

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