Before Trump, This Governor Set the Gold Standard for Outrageous Politicians
Edwin Edwards’s spicy jambalaya of scandal, swagger, braggadocious charm and made-for-TV stunts was just what Louisiana voters ordered…again and again and again.
Photo by Kathy Anderson / The Times-Picayune
November 1991 – Sunk comfortably into a plush burgundy chair beneath white-hot spotlights at NBC studios in New York sits Democrat Edwin Edwards, Louisiana’s fiftieth governor. A gambling aficionado, who has returned to politics against all odds, Edwards is meticulous, both in dress and in speech, as sharp as a marquise diamond. His good looks and coiffed hair have earned him the nickname “the Silver Fox.” Rumors that the Marksville, Louisiana, native once slept with six women in one evening have also earned him the more lecherous nickname “the Silver Zipper.” He and another rather colorful politician – Republican David Duke of Metairie, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard – have fended off ten other candidates to make it to the state’s 1991 gubernatorial runoff in what has been dubbed “the Race from Hell.” The two foes sit next to each other for this national broadcast of “Meet the Press.”
Host Garrick Utley holds up a copy of The New York Ti…
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