— From NBC's Abby Livingston
In an interview Thursday with Charlie Rose, Edwards gave insight
into his motivations for running for public office, why he's a better
candidate than his competitors and the effects of his personal life on
his view of the world.
When Rose asked Edwards if his leftward shift since the 2004 campaign
was a result of strategic countering Clinton in the primary, he said,
"That's total nonsense."
Edwards sees his run for vice president in that election as a positive
for his campaign and his authenticity. "It gives you a toughness, a
seasoning and a depth that cannot be achieved in any other way," he
said. "If you haven't been under the microscope, under the national
microscope, where everything you say and do is being examined; if
you've been through that process, which I have, what it does is give
you a confidence and a sure-footedness that you have to, to use your
language, speak truth to power. You have to be willing to say what it
is you actually believe."
Edwards also discussed the difficulties in his personal life. He addressed a subject he has not in his stump: his deceased son. He clarified that Wade's death was not the sole reason he ran for office, but a positive influence on his decision. "I had talked to Wade about it," Edwards said. "So I don't want to overstate that."
He also talked of his wife's battle with cancer. "It gives you a focus and I guess a willingness to say what you really believe, regardless of the political fallout or implications of it, whatever the result is," Edwards said. "And it also makes you understand in a way that I think is hard -- when you face mortality up close, in a very real and human way, with burying your son and watching your wife go through what Elizabeth's going through. What it does is give you a strength and a purpose that I think is hard to find in other ways."