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Dan Carter, author, on
the new speech writer, Asa Carter

Dan Carter

In the 1962 governor's campaign, people begin noticing something different about George Wallace. The speeches were snappy; the one-liners were great. And what people didn't know was that for the first time, George Wallace had a speech writer. His name was Asa Carter. This is not your standard speech writer. This is a former Klansman. In fact, he'd shot two of his fellow Klansmen who questioned his handling of the organization's finances. A group of his followers had gone out and randomly castrated a black man. He had a long history of violence. In fact, it's not an exaggeration to call him something of a kind of psychopath. But he could also write. He published a magazine called "The Southerner." He did a lot of radio commentary, and he had a real ability to encapsulate in snapping one-liners, and just the right phrase, people's fears, hatred, anger. And he began feeding these to Wallace, and Wallace suddenly took off in that campaign of 1962.

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