when leaders came to Grant
offering him the presidency, either he forgot his opinion of politics, or (and signs point to this) he thought (as another hero has thought since) that being president was an easy matter.
None of us can measure such a temptation without having it. As General Taylor
writes, “Perhaps none but a divine being can resist such a temptation.”
Strange, very strange, is Grant
's conduct after his election.
He left the world.
He went into a sort of retreat at Galena
He would see no party leaders.
He ordered no letter sent to him. He would make no speeches.
He disclosed his plans to no one.
We can only guess his thoughts during this time by his acts following it. They were honest — and helpless.
Evidently, he wished to govern without politics, as he had made war without politics.
He wished to choose men as he had chosen generals — for their fitness as he judged