"Politics," it is said, "is the art of the possible." Occasionally it also seems to border on the impossible, probably no more so than in the national nominating process. Through a combination of feverish primary contests in scattered and often unrepresentative states, the stimulation of the hysterical atmosphere of the convention and negotiations in smoke- filled rooms, Presidents of the caliber of Lincoln, Wilson, and Roosevelt have been chosen.
A common reaction to this situation has been a mixture of awe and incredulity. One writer is amazed at Lincoln's nomination. "Midnight conferences of liquor-stimulated politicians, deals for jobs, local leaders pulling wires to save their state tickets, petty malice, and personal jealousies --a strange compound, and the man of destiny emerges."1____________________