SPEAKING of the utterances of vice presidents from...


July 28, 1992

SPEAKING of the utterances of vice presidents from Indiana, we came across this in the Spring issue of Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, a publication of the Indiana Historical Society:

"At the end of his term [1913-1921] in office [Vice President Thomas R.] Marshall returned to private life and a steady stream of lecture appearances, delighting audiences across the country with his wit. Some of his numerous bon mots include:

"On the office of vice president: 'Once there were two brothers. One ran away to sea; the other was elected vice president. And nothing was ever heard of either of them again.'

"On the 19th state: 'It [Indiana] has perhaps no towering peaks, but it has surely furnished as many first-rate second-class men in every department of life as any state in the Union.'

"On the generation gap: 'The only difference between their generation and my generation is that they have different ways of making fools of themselves.'

"On political platforms: 'A political platform ought to be written by three persons -- a political economist, a philologist and an honest man.'

"On his plans after leaving office: 'I don't want to work. I wouldn't mind being vice president again.'

". . . [Marshall] remains best known today for a chance remark he made while presiding over the U.S. Senate as vice president in 1917. During a long speech by Senator Joe Bristow of Kansas on the needs of the country, Marshall turned to the clerk and said: 'What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar.' "

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