George C. Wallace, 1919-1998
George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama, entered the 1968 presidential race as a long shot. He ran as an independent whose only chance of success was to send the election into the House of Representatives. Wallace campaigned on the pledge of “law and order,” a theme many Americans welcomed amidst the national mood of riotous dissention and protest. Yet he avoided all discussion of race or civil rights, talking instead about “defending the integrity of neighborhoods and neighborhood schools.” This was code for keeping segregation in place, in spite of progressive trends and laws to uproot it. In the election, Wallace trailed Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat Hubert Humphrey by wide margins. Nevertheless, he was not dissuaded from campaigning for the Democratic nomination in 1972 and 1976.
Jerome Liebing, 1968