Let The Freak Show Begin

I really didn’t think that 4 term former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards (hereinafter EWE or just plain Edwin) would run for Congress. I even predicted a non-candidacy on social media. In the immortal words of Graham Parker “I thought I was right, I was wrong.”

After EWE’s announcementthere was a lot of back and forth on NOLA twitter between the moralists who were outraged and horrified and those of us who view politics as entertainment with higher than average stakes. The moralists are concerned that EWE’s candidacy will “hurt the state’s image.” Give me a fucking break, we have a creationism law, a Governor who performed an exorcism whilst in college and take a rapper with a silly name, Little Boosie, seriously.

Here’s my take. The MSM is lazy: they stereotype every state and locality and stick to it regardless of any changes. Louisiana, New Jersey and Illinois are corrupt. California is full of lazy hippie stoners. Florida is populated by gun toting lunatics and Vermont is full of people in overalls who love maple syrup and say yup in heavy Yankee accents. In short, they’re going to do what they do regardless of how zealously we guard our sacred image. Oh I forgot: according to Fox News California is socialist hell hole on the brink of fiscal ruin. Tell that to Jerry Brown, one of the best and most popular Governors in the nation.

Back to Edwin. His record as Governor defines the term mixed bag. On the positive side, he cared about the poor and state employees and was the first Gret Stet Governor to treat African Americans as human beings and full citizens. The last item counts for a lot. On the other hand, pay to play was rampant and the oil and chemical industries had their way with the state and were not obliged to clean up after themselves. Despite my considerable personal affection for the charming old reprobate, I’d give his overall record a slight thumbs down. He was, however, much better than the current occupant who is busy ruining higher education and the state health care system while pretending to reform them. Beware the so called reformer, they’ll screw you harder than the old school pol. Gov PBJ has slipped the state a roofie and had his way with us like Darren Sharperat a sorority party.

As to the House race, Edwin shows signs of being out to win. He’s got the full Blue Dog pander on: he says he would have voted against the ACA and supports the Keystone pipeline. It’s a very red district with a substantial minority population and all the other candidates are unknown to say the least. The only familiar name belongs to the grandson of Paul Dietzel who coached LSU to its first football national championship way back in 1958. Holy reflected glory, Batman. The seat is being vacated Bill Cassidy who is the GOP establishment’s anointed opponent to Mary Landrieu.

Before EWE jumped into the race there was some speculation as to whether his candidacy could help Senator Landrieu’s re-election bid by pumping up black turnout. Color me skeptical. Edwin has not been on a ballot since 1991 and there’s the little detail of his 8 years as a guest of the federal government. In addition, Edwin and Mary *despise* one another so it’s unlikely that she’s dancing a jig at this news.

Can he win? Yes he can and part of me hopes he does. It would bloody the noses of the state Republican party if they cannot defeat an 86 year old ex-con. It’s up to the voters of the 6th district, which includes Baton Rouge and its environs. It’s not my district but it is Michael F’s, so I eagerly await his take on the freak show.

It does not appear that anyone at the presser asked Le Guv whether this is about reviving the cancelled reality show that he and his awful third wife, Trina, had on A&E. My gut says yes but this bizarre candidacy is also about Edwin’s ego and his desire to add a chapter to his “legacy” as a guy who returned to Congress 43 years after leaving to become Governor. This long gap is something he has in common with Jerry Brown who became Governor again some 28 years after leaving office. It’s the only thing they have in common.

Finally, my then Krewe du Vieux sub-krewe PAN had an EWE theme year back in 2007. We called for a return to old school competent corruption. We were just kidding but, apparently, Edwin took us seriously.

PAN poster 07

7 thoughts on “Let The Freak Show Begin

  1. MichaelF says:

    Weelll…I have someone to vote for — and kind of amazing the least of evils happens to be a convicted felon. OK, maybe least of evils with even the slightest chance to make a showing.
    I was VERY surprised at the announcement, but I’m also guessing Edwin figures why the hell not? It’ll keep him busy in the absence of a reality TV show. I’d guess it also “keeps the brand name viable.”
    The other people running are no-names, but Edwin’s high recognition is probably a liability in the 6th…well, with the possible exception of Baton Rouge itself. Believe it or not, Obama narrowly won the city, but the rest of the district might well vote in favor of benzene poisoning before a Democrat…come to think of it, maybe it already did.
    If you’re interested, Jim Engster got an early interview with Edwin, and you can hear it here
    http://wrkf.org/programs/jim-engster-show-wrkf
    I was pleasantly surprised to NOT hear any anti-Obamacare rhetoric, was even more pleasantly surprised to hear him advocate open trade with Cuba and the idea of government “serving the people,” but…I really doubt we’re seeing a serious candidate who’ll be out pressing the flesh and rallying the troops. As I said a few weeks ago, Edwin is, and sounds, well, old. He said something about lucky genetics and diet/exercise, but he’s 86…and while he sounds good for 86, it’s just that.
    To be fair, if I even made it to 86 and sounded half as good…
    So…to sum up, at long last: he’s got my vote, and probably my neighbors, plus we might even see him at a candidate forum and perhaps in some ads, but this is more his way of staying relevant, and if you ask me, ensuring some lecture fees once the election’s over and done…

  2. I’m in the 6th District, and I won’t write EWE off. He’s old, but, then again, I’m old, too. Old folks vote.

  3. adrastos says:

    I’d pull the lever for him myself. I usually like voting a Congressperson in who will stay and gain seniority.

  4. Considering the alternatives…

  5. Kevin says:

    It’ll keep him busy in the absence of a reality TV show. I’d guess it also “keeps the brand name viable.”
    I’m not at all convinced this isn’t a ploy for another TV show.

  6. Clay says:

    Garrett Graves is one of EWE’s opponents.
    http://lacoastpost.com/blog/?p=45770
    Must read.
    Bahr on Graves: ” Graves’ lack of science/engineering credentials has never deterred him from weighing in on (and deciding) important technical issues with experts.”
    That sentence should send a chill down your spine.

  7. Beth says:

    Maybe a ploy for television. Reading the recent articles on how much leeway there is for use of campaign funds, that alone is a motivation. He’ll have the daughters on the campaign staff payroll. And the wife. It’s a nice little bounceback from the failed series.

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