his cartoon predicts the victory of the Democratic nominee Horatio Seymour in the presidential race. Seymour's head hovers, glowing, above the White House, complacently watching a group of struggling Republicans.
Republican candidate Grant and his running-mate Schuyler Colfax draw a wagon, the "Chicago Platform," loaded with supporters up a steep hill toward the White House." Charles Wilkes, seated in front of the wagon, wagers, "…5, 10, 15, or 20 dollars on little joker Grant." Senator Benjamin Wade of Ohio grumbles, "Just as I told them! there is no strength in this team! Why didn't they put me and [Theodore] Tilton on the ticket?"
Congressman Benjamin Butler of Massachusetts, holding spoons, says, "I begin to feel a little spooney for with all Grants strength & Colfax to help him we seem to be going backwards." As military governor of New Orleans in 1862, Butler earned a reputation as a corrupt plunderer. Under his administration the city's financial management was so irregular that he was alleged to have stolen the spoons from his own house.
Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts exclaims, "Why! Old Thad has fallen off the platform!"
New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley says: "Well we wont stop to pick him up, its a pity he hadn't fell off before."
Thaddeus Stevens (lying on the ground behind) retorts, "I'd rather fall off than ride with an Old scare crow like you, __"
Others, silent passengers are former abolitionist Wendell Phillips, the bearded Edwin Stanton, and New York Times editor Henry Raymond.