Katie Asked, They Answered

(CBS)
Reading over some of the comments on Katie's interview with John and Elizabeth Edwards, you can't help but be struck by a recurring theme: viewers didn't like the questions and how they were asked. You would think that Katie was the only one doing any talking.

Which led me to wonder: well, what about the answers? The purpose of an interview is not to create memorable questions, but to elicit compelling answers. Did the answers shed any light on the Edwards' decision? Did they offer insight into the character of the man who wants to be President? Did they give others who are facing this kind of crisis some perspective? Did the answers have any value or add to our knowledge? (Well, among other things, Elizabeth Edwards revealed for the first time that the cancer had spread to her hip.)

Herewith, a few of the answers that came out of the Edwards interview. You can read a full transcript right here.

Elizabeth Edwards: You know, you really have two choices here. I mean, either you push forward with the things that you were doing yesterday or you start dying. That seems to be your only two choices. If I had given up everything that my life was about – first of all, I'd let cancer win before it needed to. You know, maybe eventually it will win. But I'd let it win before I needed to.

And I'd just basically start dying. I don't want to do that. I want to live. And I want to do the work that I want next year to look like last year and... and the year after that and the year after that. And the only way to do that is to say I'm going to keep on with my life.

Elizabeth Edwards: I... I... I... I think that it is our intention to deny cancer any control over us.

And though I know there are people who live short lives, I feel optimistic, not because I've got rose-colored glasses on, but because I know that I have only low-volume... a small amount of cancer in my bones.

John Edwards: We don't understate or misunderstand the seriousness of this. I mean, this could kill her, and we know it. And what we won't choose to do is... we choose to live our lives fully, and with strength and optimism. We get to make that choice.

And that's what we choose.
John Edwards: I say all of those judgments and questions are entirely legitimate. I mean, you offer yourself up for service to the country as the President of the United States, you deserve to be evaluated. I am perfectly open to that evaluation. I think that I know, when I'm running for president, I'm running for president because I want to serve this country, and because I want all people in America to have the same kind of chances that I've had.

I've come from nothing to now have everything. And I think everybody in this country, no matter who their family is, or what the color of their skin, ought to get that chance.

But, throughout this process, people will be able to see very clearly into what we do, what we say, how we behave, and they can evaluate for themselves whether they think I'm, in fact, doing this for the right reason.

We know the truth. We know the truth, but I think it's a fair judgment for Americans to make.
Elizabeth Edwards: Cancer took a lot away from us a few years ago. It took a year of my life and a lot of John's. I didn't want it to take this away not just from me but from those people who depend on our having the kind of president he would be.

Katie Couric: Here you're staring at possible death...

Elizabeth Edwards: Aren't we all though.

Katie Couric: And you're thinking, "I don't want to deprive the country of having my husband lead us."

Elizabeth Edwards: That would be my legacy wouldn't it, Katie. That I'd... that I'd... that I'd... that I'd taken out this fine man from the possibility of giving a great service. I mean, I don't want that to be my legacy.
  • Greg Kandra

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