During former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's November trip to Charleston, S.C., he said the following: "I do approach this whole campaign, I think, differently from everybody else. We have a number of friends who are also running. We have no opponents except Barack Obama. I think that's very important. I think (Abraham) Lincoln was very wise, as was captured in a book called 'Team of Rivals.' ... Literally everybody who was his opponent ended up in the Cabinet because he needed all of them in order to be able to put together the political power during the crisis that we faced. I would say the same thing. I don't know of a single person currently running who wouldn't be a very effective member of an administrative team and who doesn't have real talent and, in some way ... a unique strength. So I don't have any opponents on the Republican side."
The book to which Gingrich refers is "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," by Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian. In addition to topping charts and receiving scholarly acclaim, the book itself is political genius and, I believe, outlines the crucial strategy needed to not only rally the present GOP base but also win the White House and save our republic. (I also wrote about this unifying strategy in a column titled "The 8th Miracle To Save America," which can be found here.)
Goodwin's prize-winning treatise details how Lincoln brought together his candidate rivals by appointing them to key positions in his administration when he became president.
Let me highlight a few critical points from Goodwin's book review in The New York Times:
"The party in the 1860's was a coalition of politicians who only a few years earlier had been Whigs (Lincoln, Seward, Bates), Democrats (Blair, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and Vice President Hannibal Hamlin), Free Soilers (Chase), or had flirted with the short-lived anti-immigrant American Party, or Know Nothings (Cameron and Bates). In addition, several cabinet members personally disliked each other: Blair and Chase, Seward and Welles, Chase and Seward, Blair and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who replaced Cameron in January 1862. Lincoln's 'political genius' enabled him to herd these political cats and keep them driving toward ultimate victory.
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