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JOHN NANCE GARNER—"SUPERB DEMOCRAT"
OW enters a vitally different type of Vide President, John Nance Gar public service. He is ol the people and for the peoplj, and by the people made Vice President. He thinks With the people, speaks the common language ol the people, and has no inclination to grow away from them. Social activity with him is an unpleasant duty, avoided as much as possi ble He prefers to cut his own wood, haul his own water, do his own cooking—and his own thinking. His patron political saint Is Andrew Jackson. Who worked in a saddler's shop, defeated the British at New Orleans and captured Florida two years later. He is the first Vice President from the South since Andrew Johnson, who hadn't a day's schooling, was a tailor and succeeded the Martyred Lincoln in the White House. Vice President Garner had scant education In his youth but has a heap of common sense, knowledge of life, and human sympathies. His political philosophy is "take tl»; people Into your confidence" about the people's af fairs. He religiously considers himself their agent in self-government. His attitude toward his fellow man is to meet him with a smile and reassure him that we live in a mighty good world, with mighty fine people. He brings to his new job the world's largest collection of the most varied kinds of gavels— presented by admirers—but he controls by nu smile and sincerity. He establishes a precedent by being on one day both Speaker and Vice President—presiding over both houses of Congress—and with far flung vision over the self-governing people in 48 States of the greatest Nation the world ever knew. ner of Uvalde, Tex. He personifies 64 years of develop ment under the laws of Nature, and 35 years of devotion to politics— WHO Is this man-€a... .! He is a sturdy and stout-hearted, clear headed Ameiican. He is a superb Democrat, a militant leader, a man of the people. But more than all else—he is a great human Deing. Of pioneer stock stretching back to the American Revolution, he has spent his life among people of his own country. To be able to say of any man in national political life that he is ail-American is tribute ruperb. With John Garner, America always coims first. It has been said of him thit he is "a thorough American, race of the soil—the robust sort that has lived with the common people and does not have to put his ear to the ground to learn what people think. He knows by instinct because be is of the people. He has never risen from them. He never will. Fair play is part of his philosophy of life. He believes in the people and has confidence In their ultimate judgment it they are put in possession of the facts." He accepted the Democratic leadership ol •»e House of Representatives as a sacred re sponsibility, not as a "distinguished service decoration." He will carry the honors and re sponsibilities of the Vice Presidency with the same air of simple, rugged integrity. Asked once what was his secret of handling men, he replied somewhat tersely: "Being hon est with them. Telling them the truth. Using common sense in discussing every subject." This "common sense" is his most character istic endowment as well as a superior sort ol sagacity, both of which enable him to make dicisions swiftly and wisely and he has the God-given power to choose the right word to drive his point home and convince the skep tical. The statistics of John Nance Garner, from the Biographical Directory of American Con gress, read as follows: "John Nance Garner, a Representative from Texas; born near Detroit, Red River County, Texas, November 22, 1868; received a limited education; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1890 and commenced practice in Uvalde, Uvalde County, Texas. Member of the State House of Repres?ntatlvcs 1898-1902; delegate to the Democratic Kavional Convention at Kansas City in 1900 and at St. Louis in 1904 and 1916; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-eighth Congress; served from the Fifty-eighth through the Seventy-first Con gresses. Democratic floor leader and ranking Democratic member of the Ways and Means Committee when elected Speaker, December 7, 1931; nominated by the Democratic party for Vice President, July 2, 1932." For almost 30 years he has sat under the dome of the Capitol. His grasp of tariffs and taxations, of Federal powers and their limita tions. of the proper functions of Government activity and of sound public policies, both do mestic and foreign, is not surpassed by that of any man in public life. Both theory and reality were his teachers. Political philosophy is one thing. Its actual application is another. For almost a genera tion American traditions and Government have been his life—he knows every stone in the foundation, every beam and girder in the vast complex and intricate structure of American Government. Men of lasting fibre do not become great fig ures in a day. Back of wisdom lies a hinter land of experience and service. Far beneath the applause and acclaim of public place lie toil and achievement upon which is builded the structure of greatness. From a humble place on an obscure com mittee in the House of Representatives he has 6'His Patron Saint Is Andrew Jackson—and He Is a Man of the People and for the People and by the People Made Vice President" John N. Garner, from a recent portrait by Boris B. Cordon. * > By Senator Tom Connally of Texas Who Nominated Garner for President at Chicago wort* his way by candor, friendliness and wis dom to "the seats of the mighty.'' This la chiefly because be has never lost the common touch. He has never been nor has he desired to be other than one of the ho6t of plain citi zens of America. Neither by inheritance nor by the patronage of powerful personages was his rise aided ur promoted. By his own industry, his own char acter and his own ability he made his way from obscurity to eminence. When the Seventy-second Congress convened he became Speaker of the House. He was tbe first to note the imperative need of a balanced budget. The duty to raise revenue rests in tbe House. He boldly assumed the responsibility that goes with leadership. Revenues had shrunk to unheard-of proportions. Business and indus try and agriculture were at the lowest ebb. New sources of revenue were hard to find. Earnings had shriveled. Demands upon the Treasury were greater than ever before in time of peace. Such was the challenge. Undaunted, John Garner faced the issue. In one of the most dramatic demonstrations in the political his tory of the counter, the Speaker, taking the floor, stirred both sides of the aisle to a frenzy of enthusiasm and secured a pledge that par tisanship would be submerged and the national credit preserved. in I ace 01 qmuuluu uui«cr oe icireu country before his party. With the Speaker's triumph in the House public confidence re turned. It is often said of eminent men that tiiey sprang from the plain people. Jolyi Garner did not spring from the plain people. He is still of the plain people. Though he played a highly confidential and important part as an adviser of Woodrow Wilson during the World War, he maintained the same quiet strengtn and individualistic poise from first to last. As secretary to President Wilson, Joseph P. Tumulty bas said so aptly, "He is one man who, though having risen to the highest distinction, has grown, not swelled." AVING lived amidst those who toll in the field, and on the ranch and in busy vil lages; having been* in contact at the Nation's Capital with public characters from every sec tion of the Union, financial leaders and great masters of commerce, he knows America as no other public figure among men now living. His home is in the Southwest, but his statesman ship is bigger than his geography. He owes al legiance to no political organization save tne Democratic party; be has no constituency save his countrymen! Among notable press comments on "plain Jack Garner," here is one with a pungent tang to it worthy of the piquant quality of his own delightful brand of humor: "Garner is a genu ine man-of-the-people. His speech crackles. When, he says his say neither Cape Cod fisher men, nor New Mexican sheep-herders have to have it explained. He sounds like folks—ana folks understand." The following comments gleaned from tne press throughout the country, the radio and, last but not least, his "neighbors" in Uvalde, build up a picture of the man that in perfec tion of detail makes the result of a lifelike por trait. "John N. Garner, commonly called 'Jack' because be is that kind of a human being, is a two-fisted fighting man, who harbors no per sonal ' grudges and fights a clean, sportsman like battle. • * • There is nothing of the stuffed-shirt about him. • • • He Is just a plain, blunt man who speaks right out what ever is in his mind or heart. "Cactus Jack, as he is sometimes called, likes to boast of the important part his wife has played in his rise to political power.***She tries to minimize it. Yet she cant very well. This combination of husband and wife is prob ably the greatest in official Washington." And yet it was not always thus—they first became interested in each other when Miss Marlette Rheiner, of fighting stock, mistress ol a 30,000-acre ranch, rigorously opposed young "Jack" Garner for his first political Job—judge of the Uvalde County Court—because she had beard that he had the reputation of being the best poker player in the State, which sne thought incompatible with the dignity of U* bench. A short time after it had been shown that Garner's rising political star could not be thus blighted, they met on a train enroute to San Antonio. A mutual fiiend said: "Miss Rheiner, may I have the pleasure of introduc ing Judge Garner, you know, the on: you tried to defeat." A few months later the 26-year old poker-playing jurist had so successfully pressed his suit that his erstwhile adversary be came his most devoted ally for life. "Politics with Garner is a passion. For the social whirl he has an indifference amounting to unconcealed contempt. When he has to dip into it his only recourse is to treat stepping out in full-dress regalia as a joke on himself, but laughs with the obvious air of a man who wishes some one else was the victim." "Fishing is one of his keenest delignts. Friends who have been with him on fishing trips say he is a good cook and 'no shirker around the camp.' Walt Whittington, a carpen ter-friend of his. says that he has no equal cooking fish and squirrels. Fetching wood and water is fun for this thorough sportsman and not beneath his dignity." "Fair Oaks, his home, is a heavily wooded tract of seven acres in the heart of Uvalde. There he reads much and studies the details ot important legislation. Although not a member of any church, he is tofcrant of the religious affiliations of others. In a political race, he is calm and of the opinion, "let the best man win.' • Some have classed him as a rough ana reaay politician. This is not accurate. He is ready but not rough. Ruggedness there is irr his speech and manner but with it the unmistaka ble kindliness of inner culture." "John Garner is not a captain of industry; a giant of finance; but a statesman and also a man of the people, with grasp and grain to deal with any great crisis." "Gamer is one of the most popular men in Washington, a witty debater and a man witn a knack of handling men. "His friendship with Nicholas Longworth has become one of the traditions of Washington's political life. The man he loved most in Con gress was his most vigorous political opponent. Longworth, wealthy, traveled, immaculately groomed, was the very antithesis of the rugged, homespun, genial Texan. It was a deep and abiding friendship and understanding." Mrs. Garner says, "He never prepares his speeches beforehand. Just gets a bit quiet and thinks." * A MONG his own notable sayings are these: "I appreciate the support of my friends and am willing to serve my country and my party to. the limit of my capacity." "It is as true now as in Jefferson's day that 'the best-governed people isv the least-gov erned.' " He answered when asked what he got out of fishing: "The pleasure of association with one man. Isolation from legislative shop talk." When offered the chairmanship of foreign affairs, his reply proved him the honest, whole hearted. everyday American upon whom a Na tion can rely, "I don't want the chairmanship of foreign affairs—I am going to a place where I can make a chairmanship for myself! I want to deal with domestic affairs affecting the American people, and not with foreign af fairs." He has made those words come true. Addressing Congress, he said on one occa sion these almost historic words, "We may have differences among ourselves, but in our hearts we are patriotic. We want to serve this Republic." wnen congratulations were ceiuging mm from all over the country upon his nomination as Speaker of the House, he gave the press of the Nation "only one of these messages." It was from his mother and read. "Am lis tening in with love and pride. You have made your mother's heart glad." Her comment, regarding his honor, to the home folks, was. "It won't hurt John any— he's a good boy." When his mother was interviewed after her son's nomination as Vice President on the Democratic ticket, she said, smiling, "It wont make him a bit better and it won't change him one bit—he is still John." Mr. Garner's life In the National Capital Is as simple and plain as when be is at home. Less comfortable, if anything. The Gamers do everything with moderation. Their apartment is small and unpretentious. They have never owned a car in Washington and see no reason why they should. They enjoy walking and It is one of their greatest diversions. They like movies and attend the best shows. Mrs. Garner is a retiring, gentle-voiced, sweet-natured woman and her husband never hesitates to say that he would be lost without her. Behind Mrs. Gamer's serenity of man ner lies an astute and brilliant mind. 8be is • prolific reader and has a deep appreciation ot the really fine in literature. Mr. Gamer in that field of culture has three great favorites, Scott, Dickens and Macauley.