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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Landon of Kansas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Chapter 1 Beginnings 3
  • Chapter 2 Getting Down to Business 20
  • Chapter 3 State Chairman 47
  • Chapter 4 Oil and Politics Mix 67
  • Chapter 5 from Oil Rebel to Governor 91
  • Chapter 6 the Governor in Action 118
  • Chapter 7 Affairs of State 150
  • Chapter 8 a Second Term 181
  • Chapter 9 a Long Shot 208
  • Chapter 10 a Candidate for Sure 234
  • Chapter 11 the Early Campaign 262
  • Chapter 12 Full-Time Candidate 291
  • Chapter 13 Sunflowers Do Not Bloom in November 313
  • Chapter 14 from Under the Wreckage 340
  • Chapter 15 Titular Head 353
  • Chapter 16 a Practical Liberal? 381
  • Chapter 17 Days of World Crisis 407
  • Chapter 18 Politics in Time of Peril--1940 423
  • Chapter 19 Road to War 454
  • Chapter 20 Political Opponent in Time of War 480
  • Chapter 21 the Postwar World 513
  • Chapter 22 Ten Years Down on the Farm 542
  • Chapter 23 Elder Statesman 560
  • Bibliographical Note 583
  • Achnowledgments 586
  • Index 589
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