Huey Long certainly intended to go up and to go up high, but he was going to ascend in an American context, in the milieu of parties and politics. And he was going to employ the traditional methods of the politician—cajolery, compromise, organization, and, when it was necessary, the slick deal. He felt he had great powers, but even if he had not, he would have gone into politics; he was a natural, and instinctive, politician, and his entrance into politics was, literally, a compulsive act. He was fascinated with it for itself—it was an art and also a science, a game for high stakes, a constant contest in a great arena. Most of all, he was fascinated with its possibilities for building power. Like all masters of the art of politics, he delighted in playing with the "blocks" that make up a power structure, arranging the blocks to suit his purpose—and piling them ever higher. Even if such a man has no ideals to put into practice, he may find politics so exciting and exhilarating that merely to be in it is satisfaction enough. Long had his ideals, but he also loved politics for its own sake. Once when he was at the crest of his career, on the eve of one of his many conflicts, he exclaimed happily to a friend as he plunged into the fray: "This is the sport of kings."
-T. Harry Williams, Huey Long