Edwin Edwards would like to be elected to the United States Congress this year. Fair enough… this is the land of opportunity after all. And his resume certainly includes plenty of experience. He’s already served four terms in the lower chamber, as well as four terms as Governor, giving him some executive branch seasoning. He brings other personal knowledge to the table as well. For example, he might be able to run on a platform of reforming the criminal justice process. Edwards should know plenty about the prison system, having seen it from the inside for nearly a decade.
Edwin W. Edwards recently spent nine years in prison after being convicted for extorting millions of dollars in exchange for riverboat gambling licenses, and now he’s running for office.
The 87-year-old, who served four terms as Lousiana governor and four terms in Congress, is running against nine Republicans in a blood red district for a chance to claim a job in Washington, reports CNN.
The former governor may be on to something here. If nothing else, he seems to be approaching questions regarding is past with a brutal level of honesty.
Responding to those who might question sending an ex-con to represent them in D.C., Edwards said of congressmen, “People say they’re all crooks anyhow, you might as well send an experienced one.”
“Nobody’s ever charged me, accused me of taking money from the taxpayers,” the Louisiana Democrat continued. “It had nothing to do with my career as a public official, nothing.”
Even putting his, er.. court experience aside, the Louisiana Democrat is a rather unusual candidate, above and beyond the standards of the American political circus.The 87 year old ( ! ) has a lovely, 35 year old wife who he met when she became a prison pen pal of his, as well as a one year old baby ( ! ) in the house. (I guess you truly are as young as you feel.) If you find yourself thinking that all of this sounds more like a reality TV show than an actual political campaign, you’d be on to something. Edwards and his beautiful bride were the subject of the A&E series The Governor’s Wife.
You may be saying, this is a joke, right? They couldn’t really elect this guy, could they? Think again.
Political experts think Edwards at least has a good shot of making it into a runoff because of his universal name recognition and the size of the field: he’s running against nine Republicans, two other Democrats and one Libertarian. If no candidate gets 50% in November, the top two then will face off in December.
“He is gonna make the runoff hands-down unless some kinda Christmas morning miracle happens and pushes him out,” says Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com. Edwards won the backing of state Democrats last week.
Reince Priebus already hit the roof over the Democrats’ endorsement of Edwards, and he points out that this is turning into something of a pattern in Louisiana. After all, this is the home of William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson (still sitting in prison) and Ray Nagin, who is currently launching his own career in license plate manufacturing. Even more recently, Mary Landrieu has come under scrutiny for charging fundraising flights to the public, though I’m personally less confident that her case will ever see the inside of a courthouse. But either way, the Louisiana Democrat party seems to be willing to set itself up as a national target for ridicule with no shame whatsoever.