|In keeping with his deterimination to bring Americans together, Barack Obama continues to confound Fox News and right wing talk radio by positing a bi-partisan and distinctly American, inauguration. The inauguration committee has announced its honorary co-chairs (Republicans hilighted):
President Jimmy CarterAnd Obama will take the oath of office on President Abraham Lincoln's bible, used at the fallen leader's first inauguration in 1861, and not since. As the Independent UK explains:
President George H. W. Bush
President William J. Clinton
(D.C.) Mayor Adrian Fenty
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Dick Lugar
Senator Claire McCaskill
Representative Tammy Baldwin
Representative Artur Davis
Representative Ray Lahood
Representative Linda Sánchez
General Colin Powell
Hunter and Kathleen Biden
Craig Robinson (Michelle Obama's brother)
Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng (Barack Obama's half-sister)
It is a highly symbolic gesture from the the man who will become America's first black president to the man who proclaimed the end of slavery.
But the links go deeper than that: Mr Obama has often cited Lincoln - the first Illinois congressman to end up in the White House - as his role model and has looked to him taken inspiration from him as he prepares for inauguration day on January 20.
The Bible in question is one of two Lincoln Bibles held in the Library of Congress. The other is the Lincoln family Bible, which was unavailable because it was packed away with the First Family's luggage, which was still making its way from Springfield, Illinois when Lincoln's inauguration came around on March 4, 1861.
Instead, another Bible was bought by William Thomas Carroll, the Supreme Court Clerk, who later wrote at the back of the book certifying that it was indeed the Bible on which the 16th president had been sworn in. It has not been used since.
The 1,280-page Bible, published in 1853 by the Oxford University Press, is bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed metal rim, its edges heavily gilded.
"President-elect Obama is deeply honored that the Library of Congress has made the Lincoln Bible available for use during his swearing-in," Emmett Beliveau, who heads Mr Obama's inaugural commmittee, told Time magazine.
"The President-elect is committed to holding an inauguration that celebrates America's unity, and the use of this historic Bible will provide a powerful connection to our common past and common heritage."
Well played, Mr. President-Elect.
Labels: Abraham Lincoln, inauguration, President Barack Obama