Obamateurism of the Day

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 [email protected] 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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