A Team of Rivals
Lincoln’s cabinet was an amalgam of past political rivals and allies because he appointed leaders of competing factions of the Republican Party to key cabinet posts. Attorney General Edward Bates, Secretary of War Simon Cameron, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase, and Secretary of State William H. Seward all had run against Lincoln for the 1860 Republican nomination. Even though the cabinet was composed of strong personalities who often were barely on speaking terms with each other, Lincoln skillfully used their strengths to benefit the Union cause.
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