Tuesday, November 25

Obama, meet Abe! Harold Holzer, co-chairman of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and author of Lincoln, President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter, 1860-61, turns up at the New York Historical Society to discuss with Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter the relevance of Abe Lincoln’s president-elect period to Barack Obama’s. (Perhaps they can touch on where we can apply for a job?) “Aside from Adams-Jefferson—which was just personal—aside from that one, Buchanan-Lincoln, Hoover-Roosevelt and Bush-Obama are the most fraught transitions in history,” said Mr. Holzer when we called him up. But Mr. Obama is so far doing just fine: “He’s been reading some Lincoln; I don’t know if it’s mine,” said Mr. Holzer, with a wistful sigh. “But what did Lincoln do? He turned to the New York senator whom he defeated for the nomination, William H. Seward, and said, ‘You have to unite the party and I’d like you to be secretary of state!’ … We hear rumblings today, I don’t know how long they’re going to last, whether they’ll last till your next issue …”

[The Post-Election Landscape: 1860 and 2008, New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, 6:30 p.m., www.nyhistory.org]

mbryan@observer.com

Tuesday, November 25