Abraham Lincoln is remembered in U.S. history as one of the nation’s greatest presidents, whose steadfast leadership in the Civil War helped preserve the union and free the slaves. But Lincoln wasn’t always held in such high esteem – and the men history might thank for that blazed a trail that leads straight to modern-day presidential advisers such as Karl Rove and David Axelrod.
In the years following the president’s assassination, Lincoln’s closest aides John Hay and John Nicolay were waging a full-out public relations war to counter what was then a popular notion that Lincoln was a “failed president,” according to historian Joshua Zeitz. They started what is now a well-established process by which presidential aides work to craft a president’s lasting narrative.
“They were riding against a current in the 1870s and 80s this sort of elite opinion about Lincoln that he was a nice man but a bad president,” Zeitz told “Top Line.” “It was their mandate to correct that.”
In theRead More »from Lincoln’s Legacy: "The boys" who won the war for Lincoln's place in history