He gives a good speech, but he’s loose with the facts. He called Abraham Lincoln the “founder” of the Republican Party. Nope. Lincoln was not the founder of the party; he wasn’t even the first Republican nominee (John Fremont was, in 1856). Lincoln was, of course, the first Republican to be elected president.
Ooops, my bad - that was TIME's Swampland writing about Mike Huckabee back in 2008. The author of that immortal and transportable wisdom? Jay Carney, who now famously flacks for Obama. I still can't find TIME's mention of the Obama gaffe.
INTERESTING: PBS presents what they claim are Obama's remarks "as prepared for delivery and released by the White House". Their version omits the news that Abe Lincoln was "founder of the Republican Party", although that phrase appears at the White House site and other transcripts.
Do I smell a rat, and suspect that PBS is airbrushing a Presidential gaffe? Actually, I notice that the PBS version omits all mention of audience applause. What I think we are looking at is the divergence between transcripts of speeches "as delivered" and "as prepared". That suggests that the "Founder of the Republican Party" was an Obama ad-lib, and that TOTUS would never have made such an error. (A further clue - the "founder" phrase is only a sentence fragment, yet it is presented as a complete sentence in the White House text.) [A FURTHER CLUE - Byron York emails Glenn to confirm the "prepared"/"delivered" divergence.] [YET ANOTHER CLUE - PBS updates to the "as delivered" transcript and explains the swap. Right Wing Noisemakers get results!].
So, do any sleuths note other differences or ad libs between the two speeches?
CLOSER TO A RATIONALIZATION THAN A CLUE, BUT... The official White House transcripts is marked "For immediate release" and includes the speech start time (7:09 PM) and the end time (7:43 PM). I am highly confident that news outlets get a draft version of the speech before the actual presentation, which is NOT for "immediate release", and obviously won't include the time the speech was actually concluded.
A REAL CLUE: Here is the official transcript:
"(Applause.) It will provide -- it will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business. (Applause.)
It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business.
No applause, and especially, no repeat of "It will provide".
OK, my current Official Editorial Position - Obama was ad-libbing with his observation that Abe Lincoln was the founder of the American Party (and The Captain is with me on the ad-lib notion). TOTUS and Obama's speechwriters get a pass, as does PBS. And TIME owes us some Lincoln Lawyer coverage.
LEST YOU ASK: Obama apologists should risk eye-burn by visiting the Republican National Committee website, where they will learn this:
Abraham Lincoln helped establish the Republican Party with a speech denouncing an 1854 law, written by a Democrat Senator, that allowed slavery to expand into the western territories. Two years later, he co-founded the Illinois GOP. Lincoln was runner-up for the 1856 Republican vice presidential nomination and then became a Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate.