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Edwin Edwards' Big Night Out 

Charles Maldonado on the former governor's turn as a guest bartender in the French Quarter

  Former Gov. Edwin Edwards, fresh from house arrest and newly married (for the third time), basked in attention in the French Quarter on Aug. 23, first speaking to an adoring crowd at the Hermann-Grima House, then serving free beer with wife Trina as guest bartenders at Molly's at the Market in the French Quarter.

  The whole circus was ostensibly part of a book tour Edwards began last week in Baton Rouge, promoting his 2009 authorized memoir by Leo Honeycutt, who also attended. In reality, it was a few other things: (a) a love fest for the 84-year-old former governor; (b) an excuse to show off his new wife, 32-year-old Trina (nee Scott) Edwards; and (c) an excuse to be adorably roguish one more time before an extremely forgiving crowd of left-leaning politicos and nostalgists, people who seem to miss the days when state politics were infused with the Gulf Coast equivalent of Borscht Beltish sex-and-pretty-girl jokes.

  Not much to write about the first part of the night. Not because it wasn't interesting, but Edwards' speech was off the record at the insistence of the event's organizer — the Press Club of New Orleans. 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. Trina Edwards sat next to her hubby throughout, but never said a word. And Edwards and Honeycutt skillfully, charmingly evaded one or two difficult questions, including one on EWE's opinion of Gov. Bobby Jindal.

  Edwards then sat for a brief interview with pundit and PR flack Allan Katz before hitting a packed-to-the-rafters Molly's, where he was nearly an hour late but was nevertheless greeted with a huge cheer. The hurrahs were even louder when Molly's announced that, for the duration of the ex-governor's stay, drinks were on the house.

  Old times, indeed. — Maldonado

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