I've mentioned before that Taylor wasn't exactly a political lifer. President was the very first elected office he held.
But he took not being political to a new extreme. Here's part of an actual letter he wrote in response to a reporter asking him to state his political views:
"I reiterate what I have often said...I am a Whig but not an ultra Whig. If elected I would not be the mere president of a party- I would endeavor to act independent of party domination and should feel bound to administer the Government untrammelled by party schemes.
Second- the veto power- the power given by the Constitution to the Executive to exercise his veto is a high conservative power, but in my opinion, it should never be exercised except in cases of clear violation of the Constitution, or manifest haste or want of due consideration by the Congress. Indeed I have though for many years past, that known opinions and wishes of the Executive have exercised undue and injurious influence upon the Legislative Department of the government and from this cause I have thought that our system was in danger of undergoing a great change from its true theory."
So....he didn't want to actively enforce party beliefs and he prefers to let congress figure out what to do, reserving his veto for extreme cases and not letting his beliefs influence it. Not exactly playing to the base.
I'm not saying that they should have put some fire breathing party animal on the ticket, but it just seems strange to put someone on the ticket that almost refuses to be classified as even belonging to the party they're running for.
It was a testament to the exhaustion of the American people with the party politics of the increasingly southern dominated democratic party. Could an independent get elected in this day and age, or have the two parties gotten their tentacles too deep into the keys to power?