Louisiana Spotlight for Jan. 14, 2013

State leaders are struggling to find money to plug big gaps in the state’s budget.

The Super Bowl is coming to New Orleans.

Across the state, the revelry of Mardi Gras is just around the corner.

And hurricane season — even in winter — is always on the minds of Louisianians.

But the real talk of the town is about the Edwardses — Trina and Edwin — and whether the former governor and his bride are expecting a blessed event.

All this while the couple is putting together a reality show — “The Governor’s Wife” — that will debut on the A&E cable TV network in late February.

In a recent Facebook exchange with The Associated Press, Trina Edwards said she “can’t comment about the baby since it’s a large part of the story line” on the show, which focuses on the lifestyle of 34-year-old Trina and the former governor, who is in his 80s.

For months, Trina Edwards has been open about the couple’s desire to have a child of their own.

It’s unclear whether the couple has succeeded in their quest for pregnancy, but Trina is dropping lots of hints.

In the past year, she has included Facebook posts about the couple’s struggle with infertility, and her “likes” include “Babble Pregnancy” — a Facebook page dedicated to moms and moms-to-be.Edwards served four terms as a Democratic governor in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. In his 1990s campaign against former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke, anti-Duke sentiment ran so high that Louisiana’s lovable rogue got backhanded endorsements in bumper stickers that cropped up urging Louisianians to ‘Vote for the Crook. It’s Important.”

Always the showman, Edwards replied to barbs from newspaper editorial cartoonists with colorful comments. He cultivated a grass-roots persona, appearing at local festivals and parades to press the flesh with the faithful, and he’s continued a similar schedule even after getting out of prison, traveling the state to tout his book and talk about his time in office.

Such is the folklore that surrounds the former governor and congressman, a power-broker populist who made his reputation as a deal-maker who could bridge the political schisms that often divide New Orleans from the rest of the state.

There is no question that Edwards enjoys the spotlight, in and out of politics.

He married Trina Grimes Scott in July 2011, shortly after his release from federal prison for his role in a bribery-and-extortion scheme to rig riverboat casino licenses.

Trina had written letters to Edwards while he was serving time in a federal prison and visited him regularly. She is Edwards’ third wife.

Their wedding — in the French Quarter — was followed by a walk to a Bourbon Street restaurant for a reception. Tourists along their route of the entourage were left wondering what the fuss was about as reporters and photographers jockeyed to get the story.

Since then, the couple has settled into home life in Gonzales, south of Baton Rouge.

According to A&E, the show will focus on Trina as she tries to fit into the former governor’s upscale world while trying to get along with stepdaughters who are almost twice her age and deal with her two teenage sons.

As the curtain goes up on Trina Edwards, reality TV star, the show also will once again thrust the former governor into the spotlight, a place he’s been accustomed to for decades.

The state’s money crisis, Mardi Gras madness and hurricanes can wait.

Louisiana is tuned-in to the Trina and Edwards baby drama.

Stacey Plaisance covers entertainment and Louisiana culture for The Associated Press. She is based in New Orleans. She can be reached by email at spjenkins@ap.org.

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