[NQers: The updates are now in their own post, above.]

Imagine that you’re running for president, labeled a moderate, probably because you oppose “the expansion of slavery,” not the stamping out of slavery everywhere. Somehow you win the presidency but, before you’ve been inaugurated, seven states secede from the Union and form the Confederacy.

To quell hot heads, you (Lincoln) direct your first inaugural address to the South, proclaiming once again that you have no intention, or inclination, to abolish slavery in the Southern states. …

MITT, THIS IS FOR YOU: Although it doesn’t destroy you, your perceived moderation — “blasted from all sides” — will maim you throughout your presidency, just as it did Lincoln. How is it then that in 1862, in the midst of a vicious civil war, Lincoln and Congress bonded to pass the following — and might you, Mitt, find a way to bond with sufficient members of Congress to pass at least two such items by the end of 2013/early 2014?

  • Intercontinental Railroad System financing
  • Homestead Act expansion system
  • the Morrill Act land-grant university system
  • U.S. Dept of Agriculture

This proves that it is remotely possible for the right person can assume the presidency if he/she is gifted in quickly picking up what leadership methods work and getting rid of what doesn’t.

BARACK, THIS IS FOR YOU: If you don’t have talent for leadership — and you’ve BLOWN four years, even with Congress aligned on your side, failing even to feign leadership — you do NOT get a do-over. No how. No way. You’re outta the Oval, and the new guy gets his four years.

And, I’ll be damned, Lincoln didn’t learn a thing about politics:

At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to reunite the nation speedily through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness.

Mitt, I’m not sure that will comfort you. But at least you have one worthwhile example.

And don’t worry. NONE OF US expects you to pull off a Lincoln. We just want you to be steady, competent, attentive to relationships, and action-oriented (aside from on the golf course).

Oh. How did I come to learn of this?

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