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Monday, 12th April, 1847.
I took a ride with Judge Mason in his buggy this evening. He told me that he had understood that Mr. Calhoun had come out for Mr. Taylor for President. I had heard the same rumour this morning but could not believe it. If it be true, I have no hesitation in saying that Mr. Calhoun is wholly destitute of political principle. General Taylor is a Whig alias Federalist of the most decided character. He is a Kentuckian and a devotee of Mr. Clay, and holds no one of the strict construction opinions which Mr. c has heretofore professed. If the rumours be true then all Mr. c's loud professions in favour of a strict construction of the Constitution and of State Rights are false. It was but a few years ago that Mr. Calhoun was ready to nullify and dissolve the Union about the tariff. Now that the tariff has been reduced under my administration and all has been effected on that subject which he desired, he is obliged to mount some other political hobby to keep himself before the public, and for that purpose some weeks ago selected the slavery question. . . I cannot express the contempt I feel for Mr. Calhoun for such profligate political inconsistency. If I had retained him in my Cabinet and consented to yield myself up to his control, I might have secured his support, but not by the support of principle.
- Polk: The Diary of a President, 1845-1849, Covering the Mexican War, the Acquisition of Oregon, and the Conquest of California and the Southwest-Book by Allan Nevins, James Polk; 1929