In the 1860 presidential election, Hannibal Hamlin of Maine was nominated to run alongside Abraham Lincoln as the Republican Party's candidate for vice president. Ironically, in comparison to Lincoln's meager two-year experience as a U.S. congressman, Hamlin had served two terms in the House of Representatives and had been elected three times to the U.S. Senate. A staunch advocate of rights for black Americans, Hamlin proved to be a supportive vice president. In reality, however, he played no active role in the day-to-day business of the White House; at that time, executive protocol did not even include the vice president at routine cabinet meetings. Hamlin was content not to have been chosen to serve a second term, and he later described the vice presidency as a "nullity."