Posted: Jul 12, 2011 11:10 PM by Maddie Garrett
Updated: Aug 4, 2011 5:28 PM
Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards made his first public appearance in Baton Rouge Tuesday night, and speaks on camera for the first time since his release from prison.
"I'm very, very happy to be back. I'm very pleased and flattered and honored that people have been so nice in welcoming me back. I didn't really expect to have that much sympathy from people," said Edwards.
The famed former governor was back in the public eye, attending an awards ceremony for historian-biographer Leo Honeycutt, who authored his bestseller centering around Edwards' time as governor.
"He's not making a lot of appearances, so yes I'm very honored by the fact that he would be here," said Honeycutt.
Banquets and old friends are a far cry from Edwards' former life in prison and under house arrest.
"I handled it like a man. I took it, I survived, I said I would walk out and I did," said Edwards of his sentence.
What he walked out to was a mostly warm welcome, with many people across the State saying they would re-elect Edwards again.
"That's amazing to me, I really feel like I came out of prison more popular than when I went in," said Edwards.
He said he credits part of that popularity to Honeycutt's book.
"Even though Edwards himself is a polarizing figure, I think that what happens is that people see themselves in the book, because it's really as much a biography of the state as it is of him," said Honeycutt.
Honeycutt said another book is also in the works. He said this project will be more fun though, including more pictures and antecdotes from Edwards' governorship.
Edwards said he's also in talks about starting up a reality show, but said it would be under the condition that it would show Louisiana and himself in a positive light.
"We're working on that, I've never seen a reality show, but I hear about them. And I want to assure everyone that if we have one, there will be nothing in it that's embarrassing the my State or to me and my family," said Edwards.
Edwards also said he plans to marry next month. And as for politics, he confirmed that chapter is closed in his life.