Garret Hobart

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Garret Augustus Hobart


In office
March 4, 1897 – November 21, 1899
Preceded by Adlai Ewing Stevenson, I
Succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt

State Senator for
Passiac County, New Jersey
In office
1877–1892

President of the New Jersey Senate
In office
1881–1882
Preceded by William Sewell
Succeeded by John J. Gardner

Member of the
New Jersey General Assembly
In office
1873–1874

Speaker of the
New Jersey General Assembly
In office
1874–1874
Preceded by Isaac L. Fisher
Succeeded by George O. Vanderbilt

Chairman of the
New Jersey Republican Party
In office
1880–1891
Succeeded by John Kean

Born June 3, 1844
Long Branch, New Jersey
Died November 21, 1899 (aged 55)
Paterson, New Jersey
Spouse(s) Jennie Tuttle Hobart
Alma mater Rutgers University
Occupation Attorney

Garret Augustus Hobart (June 3, 1844 – November 21, 1899) was a corporation lawyer, city council member in Paterson, New Jersey, and a member and presiding officer of both houses of the New Jersey legislature. In 1897, despite his lack of national or statewide office, he was tapped by the William McKinley campaign as the party choice for United States Vice President of the United States. A former state party chairman, Hobart was credited with bringing New Jersey into the Republican fold in the 1896 election against the Democrat William Jennings Bryan. His death two years later at the age of fifty-five prompted the 1900 Republican National Convention, meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to nominate Theodore Roosevelt for the vice presidency when McKinley sought a second term as president. In September 1901, upon McKinley's assassination, Roosevelt became the youngest ever U.S. President. Had Hobart lived, there may never have been a Theodore Roosevelt presidency, for he, not Roosevelt, would have succeeded McKinley.[1]

Hobart graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey long before that institution was engulfed by socialists and liberals on the faculty. Hobart took his job as vice president more seriously than any of his predecessors since Thomas Jefferson. His colleagues considered him "earnest, congenial, fair-minded, and conscientious." Instead of deferring procedural matters to other senators on the floor, he was faithful in attendance and ruled on such issues himself. McKinley came to view Hobart as the "assistant President." Hobart was like most Republicans of his day a trade protectionist who supported higher tariffs than did most Democrats. He supported the questionable Spanish-American War, though his foreign policy views were more restrained that the later interventionists Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. A backer of the gold standard, Hobart opposed inflation of currency. In claiming the vice-presidential nomination in 1896, Hobart devoted his acceptance remarks to the gold standard, of which he was particularly well informed and eloquent. When the forces favoring sound money prevailed in the election, Congress passed the Gold Standard Act of 1900 four months after Hobart's death.[1]

Reference

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lawrence W. Reed. The Man Who Might Have Saved America from Woodrow Wilson. Fee.org. Retrieved on June 28, 2018.