What If POLITICO Had Covered the Civil War?

Playbook, Emancipation Day Edition

by Michael Schaffer | October 28, 2013

POLIT-ICO Play-Book, presented by UNION-PACIFIC RAILROAD – JAN 1, 1863 EDITION -- -ROSCOE CONKLING NEW YEAR’S PARTY -- Democrats livid over ‘Caesar’ Lincoln executive power – New aide-de-camp for Gen’l Sherman -- 250 years of chattel slavery to end -- JEBEDIAH ALLBRITTON IS 81!  -- POLIT-ICO PRO launches reconstruction-contracting vertical 

FIRST LOOK: Explosive ELIHU B. WOODINGTON pamphlet chronicling backbiting and unchivalrousnes in Lincoln cabinet. Excerpt today in Washington Periodic Miscellany. BOMBSHELL: Wm. Seward once mocked E.M. Stanton with comic doggerel! Blind quote: “This is what happens when you elect an untested one-term Congressman. Permitting White House rivalries is no way to proceed in this hamlet.” PARLOUR GAME BEGINS: Who are Woodington’s sources? Pamphlet goes on sale Tuesday for 5 cents; the lovely Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer hosts book party to-night. 

DAVIS, STOWE TO POLIT-ICO: CSA President & Former Miss. Sen. Jefferson Davis and bestseller Harriet Beecher Stowe (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”) will face off in biweekly columns on POLIT-ICO opinion pages. PRESS RELEASE: “We are pleased to be bringing together the opinions by the most respected writers from across the political spectrum.”

FOR POLICY JUNKIES: White House telegram, 9:00 a.m.: “LINCOLN ISSUES EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION STOP SLAVES IN REBEL AREAS DECLARED FREE STOP”

NOT-S0-GREAT EMANCIPATOR:  “Lincoln Proclamation Stirs Controversy,” by Jethraux VandeHei: “Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation was bound to rile opponents who already viewed the president as high-handed and arbitrary… Senior White House officials assert that Lincoln has the authority to free slaves under the Constitution’s war-making provision. But Congressional Democrats have vowed to hold hearings, which could put border-state Republicans in an awkward position…. Lincoln is risking his presidency and his reputation on the uncertain notion that future generations will eventually appreciate the end of slavery.”

WEST-WING MINDMELD: This shows a direct, decisive president, something that will improve Lincoln’s ability to get his agenda through Congress

FORMER GEN.-IN-CHIEF GEORGE MCCLELLAN, on MORNING JEHOSEPHAT: Lincoln has flip-flopped once again on emancipation…. Washington politicians are doing an end run around the Constitution… I think we need less polarization and divisiveness during a civil war. A leader needs to stand up to extremists and reach out across the aisle. Lincoln has not led.” 1864 TEA LEAVES: “I am not ruling anything out, but I’m not ruling anything in.” 

PLAY-BOOK FACTS OF LIFE: If the president can convince the public that he emancipated slaves simply to preserve the union, the story will blow over. If it emerges that he actually issued the proclamation because he believes involuntary bondage is an immoral affront to human dignity, we could be looking at months of hearings.

FLASHBACK: “I am not, nor have ever been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races.” –Lincoln, IL-SEN debate, 1858

**A message from Union-Pacific: Manifest destiny is within reach. But Congress needs to act fast to enable ambition and economic growth. Tying up railroad innovators in red tape will cost jobs***

SENATE PREVIEW: The upper chamber will take up crucial reforms to currently low railroad subsidies. BIG GUN: Railroad Tycoon Institute hires the uber-connected SCHUYLER COLFAX III, formerly of The Robber Baron Group, as gov’t liaison.

WHERE’S HANNIBAL? -- “Vice-President’s Absence Fuels Speculation,” by POLIT-ICO’s ELIJAH ZACHARIAHSON. “At this point, the odds are less than 50-50 that Hannibal Hamlin will be on the ticket in 1864 …. The key question is whether Hamlin can restore his relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln, who has been lobbying to dump him.” 

NEW BATTLEGROUND POLL: Lincoln’s negatives are “through the roof” in Va., N.C., S.C., Ga., Miss., Ala., Louisiana, Ark., Tenn.  PLAY-BOOK TRUTH BOMB: Lincoln is not going to improve these numbers if he refuses to press the flesh. A playbooker telegraphs: “I don’t know what happened to the gregarious guy we saw in 1860. Jeff Davis hasn’t been invited to the White House for cocktails once since Abe became president!”

YOU’RE INVITED – PLAY-BOOK BREAKFAST THIS A.M.  Gen. Ambrose Burnside will discuss WINNERS AND LOSERS FROM THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM. We’ll also be discussing his take on early shape of 1864 McClellan-Lincoln race, and changes in soldiers’ political preferences. For anyone interested in arcana, there will also be updates about the ongoing Civil War. Live-telegraphed via Western Union.

BUSINESS BURST: AP: Leland Stanford Junior brilliantly shorts stock of yet another rival! His Central-Pacific is on track to meet the Union-Pacific and unite the continent.  

BIRTHDAY: Schuyler Colfax; Mrs. Judah P. Benjamin (tophat-tip: Mrs. Alexander Stephens); Butrix Van Arsdale, former Whig Senate Campaign Committee director, is 5-0; James Gordon Bennett (tophat-tip: Horace Greeley); Gen’l and equestrian enthusiast P.G.T. Beauregard

BIRTHWEEK: Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson! “We celebrated with a round of hard cider in Richmond,” writes Robt. E. Lee. “Next year we’ll do it at Ford’s Theater.” SPOTTED AT THE BACCHANAL: Braxton Bragg and Mrs. Simon Bolivar Bruckner. Bragg: “When this war is all over, we will get Stonewall the present he really wants—a ride on the transcontinental railroad.”

 

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