They thought that Winfield Scott would be the right candidate.
In his thirty years as a general, Winfield Scott had become one of the best-known military leaders in the country. During the war with Mexico, he had captured Vera Cruz and occupied Mexico City.
So, party leaders thought that if any Whig could be elected president, it was Winfield Scott.
His speeches were full of praise for himself. It was evident that he thought he was the greatest candidate who had ever lived. Soon his political opponents began to make fun of him. They called him, Great Scott.
General Scott did not come close to winning the presidency. But his name still lives as part of the English language.