Former Gov. Edwin Edwards, fresh from his house arrest and newly married, basked his way through the French Quarter last night, stopping first to speak to an adoring crowd at the Hermann Grima House, then serving free beer as guest bartender at an uncomfortably crowded Molly's at the Market.
The whole circus was ostensibly part of a book tour Edwards began last week in Baton Rouge, promoting his 2009 biography by Leo Honeycutt. In reality, it was a few other things: (A) A big lovefest; (B) An excuse to show off his new wife, 32-year-old Trina (née Scott); and (C) An excuse to be adorable over and over again before an extremely forgiving crowd of left-leaning politicos and nostalgists, people who miss the days when state politics were infused with (whatever the Gulf Coast equivalent is to) Borscht Beltish sex-and-wife-and-sex-with-your-wife jokes. Which is the same thing as (A) but it really demanded both repetition and elaboration.
The night began with a signing and Q & A with Edwards and Honeycutt at the lovely Hermann Grima House. (Trina sat next to Edwards throughout but never said a word.) Not much to write about that. It's not because it wasn't interesting that there isn't much to say, but as the Gambit learned midway through to our surprise, the entire event was off the record at the insistence of its organizer. Who was the organizer who asked that press not act like press at what appeared to be a press type event? Why, the Press Club of New Orleans, of course. Brief summary without getting into specifics: Edwards told jokes. Honeycutt talked about the process of writing the book complete with a hard sell on the ex-governor's legacy. And Edwards and Honeycutt skillfully, charmingly evaded one or two difficult questions.
Then it was on to Molly's, where Edwards was nearly an hour late but was nevertheless greeted with a huge cheer, then a bigger one when he got behind the bar and proprietors announced that for the duration of the ex-governor's stay, drinks would be on the house.