Known throughout the southern areas of the United States as one of our past's leading segregationists, George Wallace had an ear for persuading the masses. He was able to lead the registered voters into the palm of his hand by simply extending a few words either for or against the colored portion of the population. He reached into the heart of racists and he touched the lives of many African Americans of the time simultaneously. I do not believe he changed at all, but simply lived his life to perfect his manipulative tactics that used our nation as putty for as long as he sat in office.
Several times in his career did he use his tactics of persuasion in obvious ways. George Wallace could sway the poles by demonstrating pieces of a personality that he wished the world to see. For instance, when Wallace went for a seat in the Alabama state legislature he embellished on a reputation as a "dangerous liberal".
While years later when running for the seat as Alabama state governor, he wished to remain as a "moderate" on segregation and did indeed win for that time period.
A fact that I found compelling and that truly demonstrates some ignorance that parts of the south are known for include the fact that George Wallace run for the presidency in three separate terms, not winning a single stride. The rest of the United States could see him as a manipulative politician out for his name in the papers.
I will not deny the fact that he was very persuasive, however, and tuned in with what people wanted to hear which is something most politicians have lost touch with. The people saw him as being able to tell them what they wanted to hear and so they did. He never was entirely a segregationist because he could change sides on a whim. At one moment he was for segregation, and even brought the media into one of his stunts with the blocking of the Alabama school. He was though, quickly able to pretend to have 'seen the light' so to speak towards the black community during the latter part of his turn in office.
Another point to his political career that I disagree with is the treatment of Albert Brewer who was George Wallace's wife's successor, and former supporter of the Wallace campaign. When George Wallace ran for president in 1970, he overstepped his ally Albert Brewer, defeating him in the second primary. This type of deceit for a political seat seems useless, except in using this type of persuasive power to manipulate the state he was standing over. Even later in his career, after he had become paralyzed by a stray assassin, he was using his disability to gain him statewide fame.
George Wallace lived a life of politics and he grew to be able to read the signs of the people. This four-term governor left an indelible mark on the state of Alabama as a result of his manipulative personality. Some of the good he did during his administration included building a part of the state of Alabama's infrastructure. He was a man with a character but a man happily forgotten.