Man, you almost have to admire Edwin Edwards. The longest serving governor in Louisiana history gets out of prison after serving 8 years for racketeering and what does he do? Runs for Congress and says he’s the only hope the Democrats have of winning the seat — and he might even be right.
You’re wrong if you think politics couldn’t get saucier in Louisiana, where the ex-Democratic mayor of New Orleans was just convicted for bribery and the religious-right-supporting senator who got caught with hookers is a favorite to win the governorship: Edwin Edwards, the most colorful Louisiana politician since Huey Long, is running for Congress.
“I’m just figuring out all the legalities and how to set up a super PAC, and then I’m going,” Edwards said in a telephone interview today. He is running in Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District, where the Republican incumbent, Representative Bill Cassidy, is vacating his seat to run for the U.S. Senate.
Edwards acknowledged he faces obstacles — he is 86 and spent eight years in a federal penitentiary after a conviction for racketeering.
But Edwards insisted, “I’m the only hope the Democrats have here.” Voters who wouldn’t support him because of his criminal background, he added, “wouldn’t have voted for me anyway.”
If they ever build a chutzpah hall of fame, this guy is a first ballot inductee. But don’t be surprised if he wins. In Louisiana, they like their corruption right up front where they can see it. And Edwards remains popular despite, or maybe because of, his long history of saying outrageous things. This is the guy who famously said during a campaign, “The only way I can lose this election is if I get caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.”
And you know who his opponent may be? Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: