Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on March 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Did Barack Obama use a phony quote from Abraham Lincoln when addressing House Democrats before their vote on ObamaCare? When urging them to ignore the wishes of their constituents and pass the unpopular bill, Obama used this old chestnut often attributed to Honest Abe:

I have the great pleasure of having a really nice library at the White House. And I was tooling through some of the writings of some previous Presidents and I came upon this quote by Abraham Lincoln: “I am not bound to win, but I’m bound to be true. I’m not bound to succeed, but I’m bound to live up to what light I have.”

Maybe the White House librarian should take another pass through the collection. According to They Never Said It by Paul F. Boller and John George, no one quite knows where that quote originated … but it’s apparently not with Lincoln.  John J Pitney at The Corner quotes the book, from page 82:

“This sounds like Honest Abe, but honesty compels admirers of Lincoln to admit that there is no documentary evidence for the statement.”

It’s not the first time Obama’s been caught using a phony quote; he attributed the previous one to Winston Churchill.  At least he has good taste in leaders.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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You lie.

rogerb on March 23, 2010 at 8:06 AM

I don’t believe anything this man says. When he ventures into historical areas, I am especially wary.

TXMomof3 on March 23, 2010 at 8:07 AM

It’s possible that by the time this president leaves office, I’ll no longer believe anything anyone says.

myrenovations on March 23, 2010 at 8:09 AM

On the bright side, this is probably not the week he’ll bring up that bogus Jefferson quote about dissent and patriotism.

apostic on March 23, 2010 at 8:09 AM

dear leader is a phony…

cmsinaz on March 23, 2010 at 8:10 AM

the kenyan king disgusts me to no end

ErinF on March 23, 2010 at 8:10 AM

“Say whatever you need to, to placate the fools, aggrandize yourself, and get what you want.” – Barry Obeyme

rockbend on March 23, 2010 at 8:11 AM

i guess dear leader will be having a beer fest in the rose garden today after he signs the bill…

the msm is so bloody giddy over this boonddoggle…bleh

*sigh*

cmsinaz on March 23, 2010 at 8:11 AM

Dear Liar believes in a “higher truth”, one where actual facts don’t matter.

rbj on March 23, 2010 at 8:11 AM

I know Presidents have writers and say half-truths all the time, but this guy is ridiculous. He was “tooling through” the library and just “came upon” this dubious quote?

Whatever. I’m tired of the BS.

forest on March 23, 2010 at 8:12 AM

is Dan O Riehl going to get all “Riehl’d Up” over this one?….*flashback–Beck and Washington quote ~2wks ago**

ted c on March 23, 2010 at 8:13 AM

I very much doubt BO spends any time in the WH library.
He’s probably either watching basketball or playing w/ his Blackberry, which is where he probably Googled the quote from.
He has the same problem my students have: you have to take great pains to verify the accuracy of info found on the web.

Badger40 on March 23, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Everytime this poseur opens his mouth, another falsehood falls out. I wouldn’t believe him if he said McDonald’s sells hamburgers. I fear this narcissist and his lies will destroy our very nation before the angry mobs throw him out. I weep for my country.

Crusader Rabbit on March 23, 2010 at 8:15 AM

He’s probably either watching basketball or playing w/ his Blackberry, which is where he probably Googled the quote from.

Badger40 on March 23, 2010 at 8:14 AM

You’re probably right. The only time I’ve been convinced Obama really knows what he’s talking about is when he talks basketball. He actually knows details about middle of the pack teams that are seeded like 9th in the NCAA Tournament, but he doesn’t know how car insurance works or what a P/E ratio is.

forest on March 23, 2010 at 8:17 AM

You know whose fault it is ?
The teleprompter’s

macncheez on March 23, 2010 at 8:17 AM

I’ll say it for D. Reihl:

We need to reject demagogy in all its forms. And if Beck Obama can’t clean up his act given all his resources, then we have to reject him. No agenda will prevail to good effect with an ignorant buffoon leading the effort.

ROCnPhilly on March 23, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Apparently it’s a new Hawaiian saying…. ‘about 10 seconds’. ;)

Scott H on March 23, 2010 at 8:19 AM

so if the quote is fake, What book did he read it in? or did he lie about that too? (not a question)

Gwillie on March 23, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Despicable.

csdeven on March 23, 2010 at 8:26 AM

I don’t believe anything this man says. When he ventures into historical areas, I am especially wary.

TXMomof3 on March 23, 2010 at 8:07 AM

Personally, I’m more skeptical of his math skills.

Hell, what am I saying, just anytime he opens his mouth, I guess.

VelvetElvis on March 23, 2010 at 8:26 AM

Can we make his whole life an Obamateurism? This guy has been a joke, a phony and a lie since the day he was born.

darwin on March 23, 2010 at 8:29 AM

The truth is irrelevant to these people.

bloggless on March 23, 2010 at 8:31 AM

The closest the filthy lying dictator ever gets to history is perusing his Wikipedia entry for interlopers who question his (the dictator’s) nation of birth.

Whoever wrote that bit for Obama was the misinformed one.

highhopes on March 23, 2010 at 8:31 AM

I have the great pleasure of having a really nice library at the White House. And I was tooling through some of the writings of some previous Presidents and I came upon this quote by Abraham Lincoln: “I am not bound to win, but I’m bound to be true. I’m not bound to succeed, but I’m bound to live up to what light I have.”

Not surprised that Lincoln did not say this. Lincoln rarely talked about himself the way this President and his ego demands the arrogant adulation of the self. Hopefully, the only thing this president is “bound” for… is a single term.

Rovin on March 23, 2010 at 8:32 AM

So This is How Liberty Dies…With Thunderous Applause

Go to that link for some perspective and some encouragement. It brightened my day and I hope it brightens yours as well!

dnlchisholm on March 23, 2010 at 8:32 AM

Obama is being true to his totalitarian Marxist self. You know a tree based on the fruit it produces.

Mojave Mark on March 23, 2010 at 8:33 AM

The passage of socialist healthcare by the methods we saw this weekend opens a whole new world where the same tactics will be used time and again to further the plot of the radical left.

For that reason, we should dispense with “Obamateurism of the Day” and call it what it is- the latest set of lies from the filthy lying dictator and his corrupt party. We are at war with these bastards and these cute little goofs need to be portrayed in that light.

highhopes on March 23, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Claims to quote Lincoln, governs like Juan Peron.

Mr. D on March 23, 2010 at 8:37 AM

Maybe he should have quoted the part of the oath of office where he swore to “Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” rather than be a party to shredding it in front of the American people.

Beaglemom on March 23, 2010 at 8:38 AM

If that guy was actually “tooling through some of the writings” of anybody in the WH library, I’ll eat my hat. At least “tooling” is a good word for him.

KS Rex on March 23, 2010 at 8:39 AM

I am not bound to win…. I’m not bound to succeed….

So does this make it ethically acceptable to say, “I hope he fails.”?

apostic on March 23, 2010 at 8:39 AM

but he doesn’t know how car insurance works or what a P/E ratio is.

forest on March 23, 2010 at 8:17 AM

And it’s so reassuring that our POTUS is spending his time on irrelevant things rather than doing his JOB.

Badger40 on March 23, 2010 at 8:40 AM

so if the quote is fake, What book did he read it in? or did he lie about that too? (not a question)

Gwillie on March 23, 2010 at 8:23 AM

He lied.

He’s not quite up to Slick Willie Clinton standards as far as weaving a narrative that never happened, but he’s getting there.

David2.0 on March 23, 2010 at 8:41 AM

The Cheerleader in Charge’s rendition of “win one for the Gipper”.

yoda on March 23, 2010 at 8:41 AM

bound to be true to who?

Still, look at the quote itself. Not bound to win or succeed? Who is he kidding? He’s lied, cheated, bribed and bullied like their is no tomorrow so that he can “win”. He only wants to win for himself, as well. To save his own arse and his legacy.

Not only is this guy a lousy president, he is a lousy person.

If this idiot wants to pretend to quote other presidents, stick with Carter.

reaganaut on March 23, 2010 at 8:42 AM

On the bright side, this is probably not the week he’ll bring up that bogus Jefferson quote about dissent and patriotism.apostic on March 23, 2010 at 8:09 AM

You mean something about watering a dry tree?

Mini-14 on March 23, 2010 at 8:42 AM

LEONARD H. ROBBINS, author

“How a minority,
Reaching majority,
Seizing authority,
Hates a minority!”

…..this one seems more REAL and more FITTING, eh??

Ris4victory on March 23, 2010 at 8:43 AM

“So This is How Liberty Dies…With Thunderous Applause
Go to that link for some perspective and some encouragement… dnlchisholm on March 23, 2010 at 8:32 AM”

Maybe Obama will use that one, too. “I was tooling through the quotes of Queen Amidala the other day…”

KS Rex on March 23, 2010 at 8:44 AM

Revenge of the Sith wasn’t a movie. And they thought it starred W.

tomas on March 23, 2010 at 8:45 AM

At least he has good taste in leaders.

Actually, he just has to steal material from real leaders in order for him to appear as a leader.

Note that true leaders leave us with memorable quotes and tidbits.

Obama is like Hollywood of today, they can’t make an original movie to save their lives, it’s all remakes now.

uknowmorethanme on March 23, 2010 at 8:47 AM

I hope the states tie this coup up in the courts for years.

kingsjester on March 23, 2010 at 8:47 AM

Well there went my TRICARE for Life with yesterday’s vote. I wonder if they are going to try and put it back in to effect or just leave us retiree’s to go on Medicare and load it up with another couple of million or so people to crash that system faster. DOD loved that vote cause it saves them a gazillion dollars.

Johnnyreb on March 23, 2010 at 8:48 AM

You mean something about watering a dry tree?

Mini-14 on March 23, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Eh, that Jefferson quote’s not very bogus, at least in term of attribution.

The one I was thinking about was “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” It was quoted by Kerry during his run for president and echoed by many others. Ultimate source is still under contention; likely 20th century as opposed to 18th.

apostic on March 23, 2010 at 8:54 AM

“Present”

visions on March 23, 2010 at 9:01 AM

At least he has good taste in leaders

He can’t quote the World Leaders he really admires, c’mon Ed. These are just quotes he thinks will strike a chord with the simpletons who support him, he did get the high school dropout vote by a wide margin.

thomasaur on March 23, 2010 at 9:03 AM

At least he has good taste in leaders.

Either you didn’t finish the thought, Ed, or that’s the most stupid thing you have ever written.

Extrafishy on March 23, 2010 at 9:04 AM

BO, the great uniter?

This man BO has created more division and skepticism during 14 months in office, then in my previous 49 years on this earth. Due to this experience in the last year, I will never believe a word anyone in Washington says without researching the source.

jbh45 on March 23, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Abraham Lincoln? I knew Lincoln, and you’re no Abe Lincoln, Mr. Obama.

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2010 at 9:07 AM

apostic on March 23, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Roger that, I hadn’t had my coffee yet, so higher quoting functions weren’t running at full speed yet!

Mini-14 on March 23, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Oh and the unattributable quote actually is “Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism, unless it’s by a conservative”

:(

Mini-14 on March 23, 2010 at 9:15 AM

I think, beyond the facile ignorance of the false Abe quote, the One is revealing himself in other ways:

I have the great pleasure of having a really nice library at the White House.

It is NOT his library! It is the people’s library. The White House, as Michelle has stated ad nauseam to excuse the “party atmosphere” of the current occupants, is the people’s house.

That library is ours, too. Of course, the book he “quotes” does not exist, not there, not anywhere.

Obama’s narcissistic arrogance is beyond belief!

DINORight on March 23, 2010 at 9:20 AM

And it’s so reassuring that our POTUS is spending his time on irrelevant things rather than doing his JOB.

Badger40 on March 23, 2010 at 8:40 AM

Yep, I think he watches more basketball and Sports Center than all previous Presidents combined.

I suspect he thinks he’s doing his job, but I think our idea of what his job is and his idea are two different things.

forest on March 23, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Orwellian language thought trick. He thinks that if he puts enough words into the mouths of enough leaders conservatives respect we will be fooled into listening to him. Sorry Bambi, we are much harder to fool that your adoring lefty base.

bitsy on March 23, 2010 at 9:22 AM

“Yep, I think he watches more basketball and Sports Center than all previous Presidents combined…”

forest on March 23, 2010 at 9:21 AM

I read in my library that Lincoln *never* watched SportsCenter. He got all his sports from the radio.

KS Rex on March 23, 2010 at 9:32 AM

And I was tooling through some of the writings of some previous Presidents </blockquote

I guess he has a lot of time to "tool" through some writings. Are you kidding me?

DJ from MA on March 23, 2010 at 9:36 AM

The “tool” is “tooling”

DJ from MA on March 23, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Do you think in a hundred years there will be all sorts of quotes attributed to Barry just because they happen to start with “Let me be clear”

Dave_d on March 23, 2010 at 9:48 AM

He lies, and everyone knows it. The problem is….outside of conservatives, no one ever calls him on it. They pander to it, as if that were the truth.

And he wants to further infiltrate education? My God, we need to stop this train wreck, and soon.

capejasmine on March 23, 2010 at 9:50 AM

I read in my library that Lincoln *never* watched SportsCenter. He got all his sports from the radio.

KS Rex on March 23, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Joe Biden called to confirm that Lincoln listened to the radio all the time, and used it to address the Nation too, like “President” Roosevelt used TV in 1929.

forest on March 23, 2010 at 9:53 AM

It’s probably a Bill Ayers quote.

LibTired on March 23, 2010 at 9:59 AM

As Jesus said:

To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability to pay.

jeff_from_mpls on March 23, 2010 at 10:02 AM

If that guy was actually “tooling through some of the writings” of anybody in the WH library, I’ll eat my hat.

KS Rex on March 23, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Exactly. I’d be willing he has never cracked open a single book from the Presidential library since he’s been in office.

UltimateBob on March 23, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Meant to say, “willing to bet….”

Need to proofread!

UltimateBob on March 23, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Exactly. I’d be willing he has never cracked open a single book from the Presidential library since he’s been in office.

UltimateBob on March 23, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Maybe his driver has books on tape the President can listen to with headphones or something. Something from Reading Rainbow, that sort of thing. Which by the way was a very good show. I like Levar Burton. Good man.

jeff_from_mpls on March 23, 2010 at 10:16 AM

I hope the Republicans have the testicular fortitude to mount a great campaign that just cuts the pins out from under this authoritarian, racist, smug, statist.
.
If the Republicans can’t do damage to the Democrats and start reversing this slide into socialism, I am going to vote another party. It’s one more time for the Republicans, one and one only. This is too, too much to stomach.
.
Øbummer: lying for the good of the party the state my presidency. (That’s the real truth!)

ExpressoBold on March 23, 2010 at 10:26 AM

The only time I’ve been convinced Obama really knows what he’s talking about is when he talks basketball. He actually knows details about middle of the pack teams that are seeded like 9th in the NCAA Tournament, but he doesn’t know how car insurance works or what a P/E ratio is.

forest on March 23, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Uh, didn’t he pick Kansas?

jbh45 on March 23, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Uh, didn’t he pick Kansas?

jbh45 on March 23, 2010 at 10:30 AM

SO did everybody else, at least for the Final Four!
.
That was the biggest bracket-buster ever!

ExpressoBold on March 23, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Johnnyreb on March 23, 2010 at 8:48 AM

With all the boomers coming on line in the next 10 or so years you don’t need to worry about where the millions are that will crash the system.

chemman on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM

jeff_from_mpls on March 23, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Considering the ignorance many have of what the Bible really says about things he might just really believe that.

chemman on March 23, 2010 at 10:47 AM

SO did everybody else, at least for the Final Four!
.
That was the biggest bracket-buster ever!

ExpressoBold on March 23, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Not me, I’m a Kentucky alumna! Going to the games this weekend too. Kansas was a fraud, just like the Precedent. He gest to watch Mitch McConnell’s and Jim Bunning’s team take home the trophy this year. LOL

rockmom on March 23, 2010 at 10:49 AM

I don’t believe anything this man says. When he ventures into historical areas, I am especially wary.

TXMomof3 on March 23, 2010 at 8:07 AM

He makes it up as he goes…

ladyingray on March 23, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Maybe his driver has books on tape the President can listen to with headphones or something. Something from Reading Rainbow, that sort of thing. Which by the way was a very good show. I like Levar Burton. Good man.

jeff_from_mpls on March 23, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Naw, Obowmao has an Ipod like he gave the Queen of England with that stuff on it. Plus every speech he’s given since ’95 or so.

Mini-14 on March 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Obama also parroted part of Lincoln\’s Gettysburg Address about “government of the people and for the people”. But until voters can knock his Congressional majority out from under the Colossus with feet of clay, government BY the people has perished from the earth.

Not everyone from Illinois is Abraham Lincoln. This President is more like Al Capone.

Steve Z on March 23, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Exactly. I’d be willing he has never cracked open a single book from the Presidential library since he’s been in office.

UltimateBob on March 23, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Since he never stops talking, especially about himself, he never has TIME to read anything!

Steve Z on March 23, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Don’t blame Obama. Blame the man behind the teleprompter.

OxyCon on March 23, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Madame 3:00 am phone call is not without her own amateurisms:

(This from “The Corner”)

Is Hillary Kidding? [Seth Leibsohn]

She told AIPAC yesterday: “When a Hamas-controlled municipality glorifies violence and renames a square after a terrorist who murdered innocent Israelis, it insults the families on both sides who have lost loves ones over the years in this conflict.”

This after saying other dumb things about settlements in Jerusalem being intolerable. But what is she talking about regarding “Hamas-controlled municipalities glorifying violence”? The square-naming and celebration of terrorist Dalal Mughrabi (who also killed an American woman) was a West Bank/Fatah affair, not a Gaza/Hamas affair. And, may we remind, it is the West Bank the administration wants to move Israelis out of in deference to those they see as moderates, i.e., Mahmoud Abbas and his (wait for it) Fatah organization.

Either Hillary Clinton knew this and deliberately set up a straw man of Hamas (as if Hamas needs it), or she did not know this, in which case things are even worse than we thought. And they’re pretty bad.

onlineanalyst on March 23, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Not me, I’m a Kentucky alumna!
rockmom on March 23, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Kentucky is in the East Region bracket this year. Who did you have to win the Mid-West Region all the way to the Final Four? Better watch out for Syracuse in the West!
.
What happened to all those Big East teams from last year? Louisville, Cleveland State, where are youse guys?

ExpressoBold on March 23, 2010 at 12:01 PM

It’s not the first time Obama’s been caught using a phony quote; he attributed the previous one to Winston Churchill. At least he has good taste in leaders.

Nah, he’s just the greatest Pretender in Chief, evahhhh!!!

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Well, being in the library may be true. The image that he is leafing through voluminous tomes of his sager forbears may well be false. His blackberry, or a computer, would also fit what he said.

brambo_42 on March 23, 2010 at 6:19 PM

When he routinely misquotes/misattribute God & Jesus from the most read book evah, I’m hardly surprised that he’d misquote a man.

Belay that, I fully expect him to misquote or take out of context anything anyone might have said when that quote fits his narrative. It’s just his nature.

AH_C on March 23, 2010 at 8:45 PM

It’s possible that by the time this president leaves office, I’ll no longer believe anything anyone says.

myrenovations on March 23, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Everything you know is wrong.
Firesign Theater

Army Brat on March 24, 2010 at 1:39 AM