Another thing to keep in mind is Lincoln chose Johnson as his running mate in June 1864 when the war was looking like a stalemate and Lincoln himself believed he would be unable to win r-election. The Johnson pick was to win over “War Democrats” to hinder the Democrat nominee McClellan, who saw the war as a lost cause and was willing to let the south stay independent. It wasn’t until the late fall when the Union saw greater military success and Lincoln’s popularity rebounded to the point where he cinched a fairly wide victory. Had the Republicans waited until say September to choose a VP it may have been unlikely for them to go for a person like Johnson.
Categories: History and Historiography