MANCHESTER, IOWA -- Elizabeth Edwards showed up late for her husband's community meeting but she arrived in plenty of time to elaborate on the former senator's policy ideas.
Mrs. Edwards came back from some shopping and sidled in the back of the room at the Cedar Lodge Steak House as Mr. Edwards answered a question about support for low-income Americans, catching him by surprise.
"Hey my wife Elizabeth just showed up," he proudly proclaimed, his face lighting up, instigating applause from the audience. "Now admit it, she was shopping, weren't you?"
Elizabeth said she was doing some "charitable shopping," adding, "It's good for the Iowa economy, too, right?"
Later Edwards was talking about trade with China and dangerous products coming from that country. Elizabeth, still standing in the back, couldn't help but jump in and talk about the difficulty in buying toys not made in China.
"There was a portion of the toys where you couldn't tell where they were made," she said adding to the issue of country of origin labeling.. "It's not abstract. We were experiencing it just this morning when we were trying to buy a wide variety of toys for a wide variety of ages."
Finally, as Edwards made his final pitch asking the audience to caucus for him, his wife jumped in again.
"Bring a friend," she chimed in.
"Thank you, I remember!" replied an exasperated John Edwards before turning back to the audience to add, "and bring five to ten of your friends with you. Don't come alone!"
After laughter and applause, he turned back to Elizabeth: "Don't you have more shopping to do?"
After the event I asked if his wife's interruptions ever throw him off.
He responded, "You never know what Elizabeth's gonna say, that's for sure."
Also at the event, a caucus-goer asked Edwards why he should get his vote over Barack Obama. In a bit of jab at his rival, one of Edwards's reasons was, "We have to win. This is not an academic exercise. we have to win."
Edwards went on again to specifically cite the CNN poll that has Edwards beating all the GOP candidates.
"I think that's not unimportant," said Edwards. "Because if you want to win – and I don't believe any of this matters unless we win – if you want to win, you're looking at the guy who can go everywhere in America with a real message of fighting for change."