LONDONDERRY, N.H. – Elizabeth Edwards was campaigning in New Hampshire today. You knew it when camera flashes went off. You saw it when crowds gathered around to hug her.
Her husband John, the actual Democratic presidential candidate, was there with their three kids on a day of campaigning. (Their son Jack appropriately wore a Red Sox hat in conjunction with baseball’s opening day.)
But on her first trip to New Hampshire since announcing to the world that she had an “incurable, but treatable” form of cancer, Elizabeth Edwards was greeted like a star.
After a Town Hall-style event with mainly students at Concord High School, Elizabeth Edwards had as many people gathered around her as John did. She signed autographs, discussed cancer often, and received personal gifts such as a new necklace from friends she had met earlier on the trail.
Elizabeth Edwards said that for the most part she has received encouraging comments since disclosing the return of her cancer, but took aim at commentators who've suggested that the couple's decision to continue campaigning was motivated by ambition more than concern for her health or their children's wellbeing.
She said that some people who “were against John’s campaign have unfortunately used our decision to continue our campaign as a chance to score political points.”
She went on to tell reporters the decision to continue her husband’s presidential campaign was entirely hers.
“He asked me first what we should do and I knew it was on purpose that he let me speak first. He wanted to know what I wanted and not have to second guess if I was deferring to his wants,” she said.
Despite her cancer battle, Elizabeth Edwards remains focused on the campaign trail. Yesterday, she corrected her husband when he misspoke about how many years it would take to accomplish a goal. And at an event at Stonyfield Yogurt in Londonderry, she stood up from the front row and grabbed the microphone. She wanted to point out that, like the questioner, her father was having a hard time navigating his veteran’s benefits.
Among those who wanted to talk with her was John Cunningham, a Concord lawyer.
“I think she is truly an inspiration,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who is not supporting any particular candidate.