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AARP Radio: Lincoln, Obama & Their 'Teams of Rivals'

Ever since the election—or even earlier, when Barack Obama chose former rival Joe Biden as his running mate—blogs and pundits have compared the president-elect to another senator from Illinois.

That talk reached fever pitch in November, with word that Mr. Obama would offer the job of Secretary of State to his main primary opponent, Hillary Clinton. On Dec. 1, 2008, he proposed her name for that position.

From Time magazine to Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show," comparisons to Abraham Lincoln's "Team of Rivals," as described by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, continue to flood the airwaves and the nation's newspapers. (A search on Google News for "team rivals Obama Lincoln" brings up thousands of hits).

Mike Cuthbert talked with Goodwin about her book when it was first released in 2005.

In the show, Goodwin talks about how she came upon the idea to write a book about how Lincoln chose his cabinet. She describes his first pick of a rival, William H. Seward, to be Secretary of State. In fact, even outside his cabinet, Lincoln’s Supreme Court pick, Salmon P. Chase, showed boldness and involved a former challenger. Goodwin goes into some detail about how Lincoln balanced the cabinet with friends and foes, always striving to pick the best man for the job.

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