“Imagine ninety-five Senators trying to outtalk Huey Long,” Will Rogers wrote in 1933.
Huey had lost patience with the United States Senate. Which was okay – they were fed up with his antics, too, and he had only been a Senator for a year or so. They wanted no part of his wealth redistribution plan, loud suits, cigars, and complete lack of personal boundaries. Huey could talk the sun down every day, but his ideas were never going to be made into law.
“A mob is coming to hang the other ninety-five of you scoundrels,” he warned his Senate colleagues. “And I’m undecided whether to stick here with you or go out and lead them.”
It turns out that Huey wasn’t really THAT undecided.
Huey Long was losing political control of Louisiana, thanks to the Depression-era policies of the new President. Federal jobs, which were literal lifesavers, were given to Huey's opponents.
Huey's own dictatorial behavior was costing him support among the people of the state, so he took his show on the road, appealing to masses of poor Americans and fueling the fire for a 1936 presidential run.
FDR's Justice Department started investigating Huey's financial shenanigans, a trick that had worked on Al Capone, but that was taking too long.
Something permanent was going to have to be done about Louisiana's Senator, and his enemies started making assassination plans.
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