| Quote #7
I have failed the oppressed... the helpless faces crying out for justice. I have failed to meet the expectations of freedom-loving people everywhere. Is this the "purpose" which Henry so often speaks of? To fail?
His melancholy wouldn't last long. Three days after his defeat, Abe received a letter from Henry consisting of three short sentences.
We are pleased to hear of your loss. Our plans continue unabated. Await further instructions. (10.21-3)
Politics is no place for a depressed person, especially because it can be so complex. Here's Abe, moping after his loss, feeling that he's not living up to his fate, failing to stop slavery (okay, okay, we get it, dude, you didn't get your way). And then he gets a letter from Henry, noting that this was always the plan. Really Henry? You couldn't let him in on that little secret?
| Quote #8
I admit it came as little surprise, for I believed that the Union would see to my victory—whether earned or not. [Footnote:] There was no cause for the Union to intervene—Abe comfortably won the election on his own merits. (10.158)
Here's a seriously weird moment for us. The Union really wants Abe to win, and they've worked hard to fight the South. So it makes sense for Abe to think the Union would manipulate the election in order to make sure he wins. And yet the narrator gives us this footnote to assure us that Abe won by himself. Wait, what? Maybe one of the people he interviewed told him this, but does that make sense: "we really really really want X, but we're not going to get involved"?
| Quote #9
There are some who have sworn that I shall never live to see the White House. (10.171)
Well, we've already seen what happened with Preston Smith Brooks (and also with John Brown leading a raid against slave-owners [9.39]), so some people have clearly decided that politics isn't going to get things done. So, instead of fighting Abe politically, the Southern vampires have decided to fight him with violence. To be fair, Abe has been chopping off vampire heads and staking them in the heart since he was 11, so it's not like he's a stranger to the violence game, either.