The only four-term governor in the state’s history, Edwards remains a popular figure in Louisiana despite his criminal conviction, largely for his down-home charm and devil-may-care Cajun personality. ("The only way I can lose this race is to be caught in bed with a live boy or dead girl,” Edwards once said during the 1983 election).
Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times
Part of a long line of populist, picaresque Louisiana governors, Edwards himself made a reference to his checkered past. "I haven't had this much attention since the trial," he told reporters in making his announcement.
David Wasserman, who analyzes congressional races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, described Edward’s candidacy as "more of a side show than a legitimate threat, particularly after redistricting cut out all the African American neighborhoods in Baton Rouge. ... A Republican will eventually win this seat."
Alexis Levinson, The Daily Caller
Edwin Edwards is known for his colorful quotes.
The former Democratic Louisiana governor, congressman and convicted felon once said they made Viagra from his blood. Another time he declared, “the only way I can lose this race is to be caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl.”
But Edwards is also a political master, who, in the words of another former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer (the only person to every beat Edwards in an election), “can charm the socks off a rooster.” And the day after Edwards announced a bid for Congress, that charm is on, and, for now at least, talk of Viagra and being a “wizard under the sheets” is off.
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Aaron Blake, The Washington Post
Former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards (D), who served eight year in prison for racketeering, tells Bloomberg's Al Hunt that he will run for Congress in 2014.
"I'm just figuring out all the legalities and how to set up a super PAC, and then I'm going," Edwards told Hunt.
(Important side note: If Edwards were to set up his own super PAC, he could be in trouble with the law again. Candidates are forbidden from coordinating with such groups.)
David Nir, Daily Kos Elections
Among the many "good reasons" Edwards would have for not running is the fact that Louisiana's 6th Congressional District—open because GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy is running for Senate—is almost implacably Republican. State lawmakers redrew the lines a few years ago to make the seat much redder, and it obliged by going 66-32 for Mitt Romney. Edwards, a Democrat, is almost the definition of a larger-than-life figure, but even though he always retained a strong measure of popularity in spite of (or perhaps a little bit because of) his law-breaking ways, he'll be hard-pressed to overcome this district's demographics.
Still, Republicans haven't exactly assembled a very impressive field to replace Cassidy, and there are few political figures as unpredictable as Edwards. For now, though, we're maintaining our rating of Safe Republican for this race, but at the very least, Edwards is always entertaining. This contest probably will be, too.
Joel Connelly, Seattle Pi
Edwards has delivered several of America’s greatest political quips. “The only way I can lose this election is to be caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl,” he said in 1983. (He won.)
Of his 1983 opponent, Louisiana’s first Republican Gov. David Treen, Edwards allowed: “David Treen is so slow it takes him and hour-and-a-half to watch ’60 minutes.’ ”
Edwards was a famous philanderer. He once dispatched long-suffering first wife, Elaine, to fill a temporarily vacant U.S. Senate seat in Washington, D.C., while he frolicked at home. One article claimed Edwards had slept with six different women in one night.
“No, it wasn’t that way: He (the author) was gone when the last one came in,” Edwards responded.
When his appeals ran out, Edwards declared before going to jail: ”I will be a model prisoner as I was a model citizen.” He also allowed: ”I gave blood for them to make Viagra.”
Remember when Nancy Pelosi said we needed to “drain the swamp” in Washington? Instead, the Dems are recycling crooked pols from the Bayou State.