After he left office, ex-governor Jim Hogg, the eloquent, rotund Texas politician, had a national reputation. William Jennings Bryan, who became a good friend, once told him, “I believe that you have all the qualifications necessary for president and there is no man I would rather support than yourself.”
The U.S. Senate seat could easily have been Hogg’s. In those days senators were elected by the state legislatures. Jim Hogg wrote to his brother John that he was being urged to run for the Senate, but he was not going to:
Nothing distresses me more than to have my friends on the one side appealing to me to make the race and my little ones on the other begging me not to. This time I feel that I should side with my children for I am due to them a double service--that of father and mother.
Besides that, his law practice was bringing in twice what his salary as a Senator would have been. Senators then made $7,500 a year. So $15,000 in those days would be, let us say, about $400,000 in today’s dollars. Not bad, for a former printer’s devil and sharecropper.
This is the man who made the most his 300-pound girth and his country roots when it suited him, but he was also a gifted speaker, an eloquent writer, and a talented lawyer. That is why his daughter adored him.