From Balkinization Blog, a Great Find!
The election of 1800 produced a tie in the electoral college, in part because at that time there was no differentiation between the votes for President and votes for Vice President. So it was possible that
Aaron Burr, whom everyone thought would be VP would get to be P. Opposed to this was Alex Hamilton, who wrote the following, which is about as relevant today as it was then.
"Be assured my dear Sir, that this man has no principle public or private. As a politician his sole spring of action is an inordinate ambition; as an individual he is believed by friends as well as foes to be without probity, and a voluptuary by system, with habits of expence that can be satisfied by no fair expedients. As to his talents, great management & cunning are the predominant features—he is yet to give proofs of those solid abilities which characterize the statesman.
Daring & energy must be allowed him but these qualities under the direction of the worst passions, are certainly strong objections not recommendations. He is of a temper to undertake the most hazadrous enterprizes because he is sanguine enough to think nothing impracticable, and of an ambition which will be content with nothing less than permanent power in his own hands.
The maintenance of the existing institutions will not suit him, because under them his power will be too narrow & too precarious; yet the innovations he may attempt will not offer the substitute of a system durable & safe, calculated to give lasting prosperity, & to unite liberty with strength. It will be the system of the day, sufficient to serve his own turn, & not looking beyond himself. To execute this plan[,] as the good men of the country cannot be relied upon, the worst will be used."
Does Hamilton know Trumpie, or what!! Any doubts and this will dispel them.
"No engagement that can be made with him can be depended upon. While making it he will laugh in his sleeve at the credulity of those with whom he makes it—and the first moment it suits his views to break it he will do so.
Let me add that I could scarcely name a discreet man of either party in our State, who does not think