The Spectacle Blog

Who was Secretary of Commerce in 1850?

By on 2.12.09 | 11:06PM

Speaking in Springfield Ill. today, President Barack Obama made light of his inability to find a commerce secretary while envisioning a scene from Abraham Lincoln's pre-presidency where the future emancipator was...

"Possibly in his law office, his feet on a cluttered desk, his sons playing around him, his clothes a bit too small to fit his uncommon frame -- maybe wondering if somebody might call him up and ask him to be commerce secretary."

Readers can judge the quality of Obama's jokes for themselves, but it is worth noting that the Department of Commerce was technically created in 1903 as the Department of Commerce and Labor, which gave way to the modern Department of Commerce in 1913. Either way, the department was created more than half a century after Obama's picaresque portrait of Lincoln would have taken place.

A little detail to be sure, but if Obama insists on using Lincoln to make the case for his own righteousness, he should at least get the facts right.

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article

More Articles From Ryan L. Cole