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.