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A fitting beginning to his presidency and hopefully a signal to all that his administration and leadership will be much more humble than his predecessor’s…

Barack Obama will be sworn into office with the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used for his first inauguration in 1861.

The move further extends the parallels that Mr. Obama has drawn with Lincoln since he announced his candidacy for president in February 2007 in Springfield, Ill.

This will be the first time an incoming president has used Lincoln’s Bible, which is part of the collection at the Library of Congress. (New presidents are not required to swear in on a Bible, but most have done so, and most use their own family Bible.)

And here’s a little bit more about the book itself…

The Bible is bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed white metal rim around the three outside edges of both covers, according to the official description. All its edges are heavily gilded. In the center of the top cover is a shield of gold wash over white metal with the words “Holy Bible” chased into it.

Annotated in the back of the volume, along with the Seal of the Supreme Court, is the following: “I, William Thomas Carroll, clerk of the said court do hereby certify that the preceding copy of the Holy Bible is that upon which the Honble. R. B. Taney, Chief Justice of the said Court, administered to His Excellency, Abraham Lincoln, the oath of office as President of the United States …”

Let me put on my cynical political strategy cap for a moment, and say that Obama couldn’t have picked a better historical symbol for unity. Lincoln is known as the President who brought this country back together again, and so using his Bible is a master stroke. Americans will be able to immediately wrap their head around this simple, elegant statement, and whoever thought of it should get a big pat on the back.

One last thing…when’s the last time a President made history cool? People all across the country will be talking about this and that’s an inspiring notion.

  • Anne

    I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m starting to get a little creeped out by Obama’s (unhealthy?) obsession with all things Lincoln. Hopefully after he takes office he’ll accomplish something on his own, so he doesn’t have to obsess over somebody else’s accomplishments.

  • http://www.seekeronline.org/journals/y2007/jan07part2.htm hiscity

    Perhaps the ghost of Abraham Lincoln will visit BHO much as the ghost of Samuel did King Saul. The website referenced is about Lincoln and spiritualism.