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Democratic Presidential Frontrunner Book Club (cont.)

Yesterday, when Barack Obama was spotted on the tarmac with his finger holding his place in The Post-American World, I assumed we wouldn't see much of a sales spike, since the book was already at #7 in our Top 100. Well, some folks did see that photo: Zakara passed stalwarts Barbara Walters and Stephenie Meyer to hit #4 today. But already the senator has moved on to more reading recommendations. In response to an audience question in Florida today about possible running mates, here was his response:

I can tell you this. My goal is to have the best possible government. And that means me winning. So, I'm very practical in my thinking. I'm a practical guy. One of my heroes is Abraham Lincoln. Awhile back, there was a wonderful book written by Doris Kearns Goodwin called 'Team of Rivals,' in which she talked about how Lincoln basically pulled all the people he'd been running against into his Cabinet. Because whatever personal feelings there were, the issue was, 'How can we get the country through this time of crisis?' I think that has to be the approach one takes to the vice president and the Cabinet.

I'll be checking Movers & Shakers tomorrow to see if O is becoming the new Oprah. --Tom

Doris_and_abe P.S. Anytime I mention Team of Rivals, I have to point to my personal favorite customer-submitted product photo on Amazon (and not only because it's the only one of them I've taken): our dear former colleague Ben Reese (only after much egging on) showing off his fabulous Lincoln ink to Doris Kearns Goodwin herself. Now that the bar has been raised, there's one way for Obama to prove that Abe is really one of his heroes: show the tattoo!


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Obama's not-so-veiled message within the "Team Of Rivals" quote was that he was willing to run with Hillary as his VP. Then again, a more fitting title would be "Friendly Enemies" (ISBN 978-1591298731).

Obama claiming to have read "Team of Rivals" is a lot less frightening than him being caught reading "The Post-American World", but I seriously doubt that he is capable of making use of the lessons. In order to do what Lincoln (or for that matter what Bush 43) did, you have to be willing to surround yourself with people who may be smarter than you are (and who certainly THINK that they are). In other words it takes a little humility along with the stubbornness to stand up to your brain trust when necessary. So far there has not been a single HINT of such humility in Obama, and his judgment as indicated by his choice of associates up until now has been simply awful.

Looking good, Ben!

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