Parker won the primary, and Long insisted that it was his doing. In that era before the advent of radio and electrical sound-amplifiers, a candidate's effectiveness was usually proportional to the lustiness of his voice at open-air rallies. Long's lungs were strong.
Long perfected his oratorical technique in these campaigns. He spoke in terms of "we'": "We are a-goin' ter do this -- we done that." He eschewed polysyllabic words; he exaggerated his "hillbilly" accent; he reveled in the idioms of his native hills. Long's apologies were somewhat disingenuous. His formal education had been spotty, of course, but his ignorance was a pose. He was an able lawyer. Once when he was drunk, he uttered a franker appraisal of his own abilities. 1
Soon after the election, Long broke with the new governor, nominally because Parker was reluctant to levy higher taxes on Standard Oil. On August 30, 1923, his thirtieth birthday, Long announced his own candidacy for the governorship. The campaign began at once. Some opposition candidates might offer money for votes, Long predicted to his audiences. "So take the money and then vote for me." He cited his teachers as Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, and Almighty God. ...Show more