Whigs, eager to deliver what the public wanted, took advantage of this and declared that Harrison was "the log cabin and hard cider candidate," a man of the common people from the rough-and-tumble West. They depicted Harrison's opponent, President Martin Van Buren, as a wealthy snob who was out of touch with the people. In fact, it was Harrison who came from a wealthy, prominent family while Van Buren was from a poor, working family.
But the election was during the worst economic depression to date, and voters blamed Van Buren, seeing him as unsympathetic to struggling citizens. Harrison campaigned vigorously and won. After giving the longest inauguration speech (about 1 hour, 45 minutes) in U.S. history, Harrison served only one month as president before dying of pneumonia on April 4, 1841.