Hannibal Hamlin didn’t want to be Vice President in 1806. However, the Republican nominating convention thought it’d be a good idea to put someone from the mid-west onto the ticket with Lincoln. Why not pick the senior senator from Maine? After all, he was a strong orator who dressed in antique blue swallow-tailed coats with big brass buttons and feigned remembrance for everyone he encountered, great or small.
Hamlin was a bit of a puddle-jumper. He served as governor of Maine for just two months before jumping ship to work in the Senate. During his term as VP, Hamlin lived with his family in Maine — occasionally visiting the White House to cast a vote in the Senate, although he found this job to be terribly boring. In 1864, he announced his desire to “serve the war effort” and served slop on a Coast Guard ship for 60 days.
Hannibal Hamlin complained to his wife that he was the “most unimportant man in Washington, ignored by the President, the cabinet and Congress.” The next time around, Lincoln brushed Hamlin aside for Tennessee Senator Andrew Johnson. Despite his absence, his name was put forth as a VP candidate on the 1868 ticket with Grant — against his wishes — but the nomination ultimately went to House Speaker Schuyler Colfax.