CHAPTER 3
State Chairman

Party harmony was the main theme of Landon's activities as state chairman, but vigor was a close second. He traveled almost ceaselessly, visiting county chairmen, candidates, courthouse officials, American Legion and business leaders--anyone who was willing to talk politics and lend a hand. He pushed them into activity to overcome possible apathy in an election that many thought was a sure thing. He pointed out that the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Chauncey B. Little, was an experienced and hard-hitting campaigner who in 1924 had scored an upset in winning a congressional seat, and who in 1926 had almost been reelected. He added that Alfred Smith, the Democratic presidential nominee, was a go-getter--anything could happen.

Landon knew of Smith's appeal, for John Landon, though pleased with Hoover, was also fond of Smith, who, he told his friends, had been a "brilliant governor" in New York.1 Landon was able to move effectively among all party factions because of his manner of listening first and speaking second, his ability to recognize and praise hard workers regardless of their political quirks, and the fact that no personal opposition to him had developed among conservative Republicans. His record of insurgency was virtually unknown, and his ability to compromise differences and his skill at keeping attention focused on the future election rather than on the

____________________
1
John M. Landon to William Gordon, June 25, 1928.

-47-

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