Lincoln was able to interject his love of story telling with his humor. His rivals he defeated during the election were better educated than he was with his occasional schooling which had been enhanced by his love of reading. The men he defeated were appointed to cabinet positions to take advantage of their strengths and to keep an eye on them.
When asked why he put all of his rivals for the Republican presidential campaign -- those he surprisingly defeated -- into his cabinet, Lincoln said that they were the best men, and the nation was in peril and needed them. Lyndon Johnson described the situation with a favorite saying: "It's better to have your enemies inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in."