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article imageObama's Inauguration an Ode to Abraham Lincoln

By Joan Firstenberg     Jan 10, 2009 in Politics
President-elect Barack Obama has chosen a mighty American as the figurehead for his historic inauguration. The theme is "A New Birth of Freedom", a celebration of the 200 year anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln.
It's a Lincoln-kind of Inauguration. President-elect Obama will be sworn in using the exact Bible used to swear in President Abraham Lincoln and his luncheon that day will be a tribute to all the foods that Lincoln liked.
The lunch menu that will be served in Congress's Statuary Hall to the president-elect, the vice president-elect and their families, along with congressional leaders, justices of the Supreme Court and pending members of the Obama Cabinet will be based on the foods that Lincoln ate and enjoyed.
The first course will be served on replicas of the china picked out by the then-first lady Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband's term in office.
The whole thing is being put together by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which has chosen as its theme "A New Birth of Freedom," celebrating the 200 year anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12.
Obama has often invoked Mr. Lincoln's name while on the campaign trail, from his candidacy announcement in Springfield, Ill., where Lincoln once toiled as a state legislator, to the 16th president's "team of rivals" in his Cabinet, which Mr. Obama has replicated by putting three former Democratic presidential primary opponents in his, to his pick of the same Bible for the swearing-in.
On the Saturday before his inauguration, Obama will take a train to Washington, D.C., beginning his trip in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, where the other lanky Illinoisan spoke while traveling from Springfield, Ill., in 1861. On the Sunday before his swearing-in, Mr. Obama will hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
Now, for the menu. The luncheon appetizer will be seafood stew in puff pastry, containing scallops, shrimp, lobster, in honor of the 16th president's love of stewed and scalloped oysters.
The main course is a duck breast with sour-cherry chutney and herb-roasted pheasant served with molasses sweet potatoes and winter vegetables. This, of course, is a nod to the root vegetables and wild game that Lincoln favored growing up on the frontier in Kentucky and Indiana.
The apple cinnamon sponge cake dessert was one of Lincoln's favorites, since he adored apples and apple cake.
And that's just a sampling. The full menu was released by the Inaugural Committee on Friday, which also released the recipes for the meals should one want to try them at home.
The caterer for the Inaugural Luncheon is Design Cuisine, in Arlington, Va.
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