Obama pays public tribute to Lincoln's unifying legacy
Barack Obama paid a visit to the Lincoln Memorial at the weekend, publicly honouring the man who inspired his career and whose legacy is to provide a major theme for the inauguration in eight days.
The President-elect took his family to the monument on Saturday night, where they admired the statue of the 16th President, before studying the inscriptions of his greatest speeches, including the Gettysburg Address.
It was the latest indication that Mr Obama intends to begin his presidency citing his hero, an opponent of slavery who led the abolitionist North during the Civil War of 1861-65.
He has decided to be sworn into office using Abraham Lincoln's bible, and will spend three days this week travelling by train from Philadelphia to Washington, following the final leg of an identical journey taken by Lincoln.
The theme of Mr Obama's inauguration week, "A New Birth of Freedom", was inspired by Lincoln's speeches, while the menu for the lunch following his swearing-in is a replica of the one enjoyed by his predecessor.
According to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inauguration Ceremonies, which has published recipes on its internet site, 200 guests will be served on plates identical to the fine bone china ordered for the White House by Lincoln's wife, Mary.
The appetiser will be seafood stew, while the main course is to be "a brace of American birds". This will have duck breast with sour-cherry chutney and herb-roasted pheasant, all served with molasses, sweet potatoes and winter vegetables. Lincoln, who grew up on the frontier in Kentucky and Indiana, was a fan of root vegetables and game. The "apple cinnamon sponge cake" being prepared for dessert is said to provide a nod to Mr Lincoln's love of both apples and cake.
Mr Obama and Abraham Lincoln have plenty in common. Both overcame poor backgrounds to become successful lawyers in Illinois. They share a skill for inspirational speechmaking, and both took office at a time of political turbulence.
Although opponents detect a whiff of the PR stunt in the President-elect's efforts to ally himself with such a pivotal figure, Mr Obama's affection for Lincoln appears to go back a long way. It is mentioned throughout Mr Obama's book The Audacity of Hope, and was also cited when he announced his decision to run for the presidency in Springfield, Illinois, on the steps of the Old Capitol, where Lincoln was a legislator.
* Get a copy of menu and recipes at http://inaugural.senate.gov/luncheon/
Feat of engineering: Incredible photographs show construction beneath New York's Second Avenue
Charles Saatchi accepts police caution for assault after trying to dismiss Nigella Lawson row as 'playful tiff'
Google, BT and Yahoo! agree plan to tackle child porn
Exposed: Edward Erin, the doctor whose faked asthma drug test results proved fatal
Charles Saatchi: Taking caution for holding Nigella Lawson's throat was 'better than it hanging over all of us'
- 1 Freedom fighters? Cannibals? The truth about Syria’s rebels
- 2 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 3 Special Report: US troops are stationed in Japan to protect the nation. But to sex workers in Okinawa, they bring fear, not security
- 4 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
- 5 Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria
Negotiable Depending on Experience: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green R...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
Negotiable: Progressive Recruitment: Dear Sumadhab, A growing engineering comp...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Ilford: We are currently recruiting for a Year ...