Quayle was the most unintentionally funny Hoosier VP, but Thomas Marshall was the most intentionally funny
Quayle, who once misspelled “potato” in front of a classroom of kids and regularly blurted out pearls such as, “I stand by all my misstatements,” was always getting laughs at his own expense. But the real life of the party (in his case the Democratic Party) was Thomas Marshall of Columbia City. Marshall was legendary for his sick burns, such as, “Indiana is the mother of vice presidents; home of more second-class men than any other state.” His remarks were so saucy -- and relentless -- that his president, Woodrow Wilson, moved his office out of the West Wing so he’d stop joking with White House tour groups.
Thomas Marshall wasn’t the only veep to complain about his job. They pretty much all did.
The vice president is the human equivalent of a tire donut -- rarely needed, usually ignored. Thomas Jefferson, who served as James Madison’s vice president, described the gig as a “tranquil and unoffending station.” John Nance Garner, one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s veeps, was a bit less tactful, stating that the job is “not worth a bucket of warm piss.” Roosevelt’s other vice president, Harry S. Truman, said veeps were “about as useful as a cow’s fifth teat,” and Calvin Coolidge (Warren G. Harding’s wingman) added, “I enjoyed my time as vice president. It never interfered with my mandatory 11 hours of sleep a day.” Somebody from HR really should have talked to these guys.