But, I was reminded of Edwards, who was born in 1927 and served from 1972-1980, 1984-1988, and 1992-1996. Eddie Edwards was a charming rapscallion of the sort rarely seen in politics anymore. (There are still plenty of rapscallions, but whatever charm they might have possessed is smothered by their overwhelming need to appear good and noble, an act Edwards never felt obliged to put on.)
Edwards was unquestionably corrupt, although he was not actually convicted until 2001 (he served a little more than eight years in jail), and he had, at best, a mixed record as Governor. But his charm and sense of humor carried him far further than his record should have.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the strong possibility that Edwards is a sociopath. He seemed to be without inhibition, had few brakes on his personality, and was an inveterate gambler as well as prolific womanizer throughout his life. He was glib and charming, and seemed to take his responsibilities lightly. (On the other hand, he never pretended to be what he was not, and did not leave a trail of disgruntled former associates in his wake.)
There are some men who act like naughty boys because that is essentially what they are, and there are some who put on that act to hide the fact that they are in reality evil. I'm not sure which Edwards was, so I'll remain agnostic on that score.
In any case, the point of this post is to celebrate his wit.
Edwards described his 1983 gubernatorial opponent David Treen as "so slow it takes him an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes."
In 1985, Edwards was indicted on charges of mail fraud, obstruction of justice, and bribery. He was acquitted, and afterwards it was revealed that half of the jurors had stolen towels from the hotel where they were sequestered. Edwards commented, "I was acquitted by a jury of my peers."
On the subject of his alleged corruption: "People say I've had brushes with the law. That's not true. I've had brushes with overzealous prosecutors."
"I never speak ill of dead people or live judges."
In 1991, Edwards was asked by a reporter about a claim he had slept with six women in one night. Edwards replied, "No, it wasn't that way. He [the author] was gone when the last one came in."
In 1992, Edwards ran against white power advocate and former KKK member David Duke. Edwards, referring to his own reputation as a ladies' man, said of Duke that "the only thing we have in common is that we both have been wizards beneath the sheets." He also feigned concern for Duke's health due to smoke inhalation "because he's around so many burning crosses"and when a reporter asked Edwards what he needed to do to win the election, Edwards replied "stay alive."
During his 2011 roast after his release from prison, the 83-year-old Edwards said, "I give blood for them to make Viagra."
At that same roast, in reference to the aphrodisiacal nature of oysters, "I had a dozen last night, and only ten of them worked."
When his brother Marion told the 86-year-old Edwards that having sex with his 36-year-old wife could be dangerous, Edwards reportedly replied, "Well, Marion, if she dies, she dies."
During a 2012 press conference with his wife, a registered Republican, on his upcoming run for Congress, when asked about what use he'd found for Republicans: "You sleep with 'em."
We still have plenty of corrupt politicians with dubious morality; it's just too bad that none of them are this entertaining anymore.