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Monday, November 23, 2015

Edwin Edwards quotes

I saw two days ago that John Bel Edwards had won the governorship of Louisiana, and wondered if he was related to Edwin Edwards, the colorful former four term Governor; he's not.

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. 


Anonymous said...

I had never heard of this man before. Yes, he was entertaining and clever with words, funny. Actually, an interesting man.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
He was, obviously, a big deal in Louisiana for a long time. To tell the truth, looking back on these quotes, they don't seem quite as witty as I'd remembered them. And some of them probably weren't even original. But he was amusing enough, so I put up the post.

Anonymous said...

Edwards was very funny. I'm surprised you didn't quote his classic zinger, "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl." That's a true lulz.

Back to Trump and his erroneous stats, a commenter at Audacious Epigone said, "while the stats maybe questionable, any media member who wishes to correct him is forced to report the real stats, which are also likely to be very politically incorrect. That's why I think this will be online outrage material only... you won't see NBC posting the real stats. Too tough on the narrative."

And that's the way it is.

John Craig said...

Ladybug (I assume) --
I didn't quote that Edwards line because it didn't originate with him; I'd heard it a number of times before I head it associated with him, he used it in the 80's, and evidently a version of it had been used at least as far back as the 60's.

Looks like Remnant and Audacious Epigone are right, he was wrong "on purpose." Using the media's own censorship to his own advantage; pretty clever.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that was me - sorry.

Didn't know that about the quote.

Trump is brilliant. I always knew he was smart, but you can be middling smart and still make lots of money if you are dedicated and get money from Dad, as he did. But Trump really IS smart.

For example, he dealt with some asshole reporter who asked him about establishing a "no fly zone" in Syria this way: "ISIS has airplanes?"

Brilliant! Bingo! And very instructive. I hadn't realized that the rhetoric about "no fly zones" is exactly that. Empty bullshit. Because the only airplanes flying over Syria belong to Russia, Turkey, and now, France. So we're going to establish a no-fly zone preventing Russia, Turkey and France from degrading ISIS?


Did you hear Hillwitch's pathetic policy speech on ISIS? She talked about establishing "no-fly zones." I said to myself, "I cannot wait for a debate between Trump and her. He will wipe up the floor with her."


John Craig said...

Ladybug --
That is a great answer. On a related topic, I get the impression Trump wants to make nice with Putin,which is fine with me.

I did hear something about the fine line Hillary is walking on foreign policy. She's trying to distance herself from Obama, but not too much, because after all, she was his Secretary of State for four years. I have a little less faith in Trump as a debater than you do, but i'll definitely be rooting for him.

Did you hear about Hillary's support for rape victims? The NY Post had an interesting editorial about that last night:

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about Trump the debater. I don't think so far he's been scintillating, although in the first debate he had a few stellar moments. ("Except Rosie O'Donnell.") But I don't think he gives a shit. I'm hoping he steps it up in the final debate - if he doesn't get sabotaged by the establishment beforehand. On Conservative Treehouse they featured a tussle he had with Chuck Todd in which he totally schooled Chuckgina and didn't let him get away with anything. You should look it up. Maybe it's on YouTube.

Yeah, Hillary's a fraud, and the NY Post has an editorial about it. I'm so jaded with all that. 90% of what's on the net is clickbait.

I'm more interested in what's going on between Russia and Turkey. Do you think this is serious? WikiLeaks says that Turkey is ISIS's main supporter, along w/Saudi & Qatar. If it's true that Turkey is a snake in the grass and purposely shot down a Russian jet, that is very scary. I don't want to say the world is spinning out of control & be an alarmist but what if it's true? Think of who is president.

And meanwhile, this country is a violent, unstable mess.


John Craig said...

Ladybug --
Trump was good in the first, though that may have just been partially the refreshing nature of his lack of political correctness. But too often his arguments seem to boil down to (a) I'm going to make a great President because I'm leading in the polls, (b) I'm going to make great deals for this country because I'm the guy who wrote "The Art of the Deal," and ©, I'm a really rich, successful guy so I deserve this job because I know business. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. And he says stuff like, "I have a sixth sense about when the next terrorist strike is going to hit" -- which is just plain silly. So far he's gotten away with all this, but sometimes if you really take a close look at his words, you wonder a little. Again, don't get me wrong, he has my vote, and the most important thing about a President is that he have the right instincts, and he does, and he will certainly hire good advisers who can work out details for him. But….

Not sure what to make of Turkey shooting that jet down. So far we've gotten two different versions about whether or not it was in Turkey's airspace. Turkey has long had issues with the Kurds, and given that ISIS is battling the Kurds, maybe Turkey supports them in an enemy-of-my-enemy sort of way. But they better hope the caliphate doesn't ever reach their borders, because the average Turk would not want to live under ISIS. But anyway, yeah, the MIddle East is certainly spinning out of control.

Anonymous said...

graf #1: my sentiments exactly.
graf #2: my sentiments exactly.
And: Before all this my guess would have been that Turkey supports ISIS because Kurds, but what if they turn out to be closet fundamentalists?


John Craig said...

Ladybug --
Took me a second to figure out what you meant by "graf," all your hipster shorthand has me confused.

Dunno about Turkey. They're mostly Sunni, so they fall on the ISIS side of the divide that way. But i just don't know.

Just teasing with the hipster bit.

Anonymous said...

graf is newsroom parlance. I've never been a journo (sorry!) but I have copyedited.

Have you heard about the latest? 5 shot at a Black Lives Matter "protest." Everyone was masked. No police. The assailants were being assaulted by feral blacks. I believe Obama has purposely stirred up racial arson in order to declare martial law. I told you, I've gone a bit nuts. Tell me it isn't true.

John Craig said...

Ladybug --
I wish I could tell you it isn't true, but it seems to be. The minute I heard it I thought ugh, now the BLMers will feel more justified in their claim about how they are in danger. If it was in fact whites who did the shooting (the shooters were evidently masked), I don't know what they're thinking. They're helping their side about as much as Dylan Roof did.

Or are you asking me to tell you that Obama isn't going to declare martial law? I don't think he is, honestly.

Mike said...

John, as usual, you've got some interesting thoughts going here. You have a way of expressing opinions regarding...."delicate" subject matter very diplomatically. It's a gift.
Glad to see putin getting a kick in the cods, just hope it doesn't escalate too much.

As to Edwin Edwards, he was very representative of Louisiana (for that matter, Southern in general) politics. I've heard many stories about his verbal jiu- jitsu.

I remember driving around in South Texas back when he was running, and seeing Louisiana vehicles with the bumper sticker: "vote of the crook, it's important"
He won.
Another story I remembered was when he was glad- handing a crowd, and Nun wanted a kiss- he replied "ok sister, but I don't want to get into the habit..."

John Craig said...

Mike --
Thank you; I do try to walk a fine line, but I know a lot of people would say I cross it.

I'm afraid we disagree about Putin, I have a sneaking admiration for him, he does what's best for his country -- and countrymen -- and we could use a guy like that in charge here.

Those are great lines. "The vote for the crook" appeared when he was running against David Duke, so I guess the idea was that Edwards was better than the alternative.