JOHN NANCE GARNER—"SUPERB DEMOCRAT"
OW enters a vitally different type of
Vide President, John Nance Gar
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
in I ace 01 qmuuluu uui«cr oe icireu
country before his party. With the Speaker's
triumph in the House public confidence re
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
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
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
"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
• 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
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
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
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.
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