This week’s Vice-President is: Thomas Marshall!
Born: March 14, 1854
Died: June 1, 1925
Vice-President #: 28
Under: Woodrow Wilson
Dates: March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1921
Fun Facts: Thomas Riley Marshall was a progressive Governor from Indiana from 1909-1913 and Indiana delegates nominated him for President in 1912 but eventually William Jennings Bryan endorsed Woodrow Wilson instead. Initially Marshall turned down the Vice-Presidency, thinking it would be boring, but he gave in and served the post for 8 years, the last Governor to do so (Wilson and Marshall were the first President/Vice President team re-elected since Monroe and Tompkins in 1820).
After Wilson suffered a severe stroke a year before his term was up, Marshall could have become the first “Acting President of the United States,” but since the protocol for this was unclear, he did not make this claim.
Marshall is best known perhaps, believe it or not, for a phrase he introduced during a Senate debate in 1917. As the legend goes, a rather long-winded senator began spouting off rhetoric: “What this country needs is so and so…” “What this country needs is blah blah blah,” etc, and Marshall turns to his clerk and quips, “What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.” Where would we be today, truly, without that phrase?