Some funny parts--
The event highlighted his strength as a politician, a good-ol'-boy likability that may wear well in places such as Iowa where retail politics still matters. It took place beneath a pavilion filled with GOP donors and the aroma of beef and manure.
"This is my kinda place!" Allen shouted. He picked thin slices of beef from the buffet tray, tilted his head back and dangled the meat above his mouth before dropping it in.
"My kinda place!"
Pinching his lower lip between two fingers, Allen yanks it down to his chin and smears a gooey dab of smokeless tobacco along his gums. He is answering questions about an article in The New Republic magazine that details his past affinity with symbols of the bygone South.
Allen used to keep a Confederate flag in his living room, a noose in his law office and a picture of Confederate troops in his governor's office.
In his high school yearbook photo, Allen is wearing a Confederate flag pin. He said he cannot remember why, but suspects the pin was part of a nonconformist phase. He said a pal wore one, too.
"We probably did it for some sort of — I don't know what you call it — for the fun of it," Allen said, spitting tobacco juice between his cowboy boots. "It wasn't any major statement."
In the magazine article, classmates recalled Allen driving California's streets in a red Mustang with a Confederate plate. Some spoke of a graffiti-spraying incident and said it was racially tinged. Allen said he was suspended for the prank aimed at an opposing basketball team but denied writing anything racial.
In college, he embraced his new Southern life — playing country music, wearing cowboy boots, backing Richard Nixon and once shooting a squirrel on campus. He skinned it, ate it and hung the pelt on his wall, according to The New Republic.
Then there is his relationship with his sister, Jennifer Allen Richard, who wrote a book, "Fifth Quarter," about growing up the daughter of a football coach. Her eldest brother comes across as a bully who, among other things, cracked her boyfriend on the head with a pool cue.
"George hoped someday to become a dentist," she writes. "George said he saw dentistry as a perfect profession — getting paid to make people suffer."
What a charming man!