By Evelyn Velez, 12
Scholastic Student Reporter
Catherine Edwards says that she would definitely describe herself as "daddy's little girl." Her father, who is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President, calls her "Caty-did," a nickname he has used for her as long as she can remember.
"We have a beach house on the coast of North Carolina, and when we would go there he would take me out on the boat out into the ocean," Catherine said of her father, John Edwards, a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. "He taught me how to water ski and we would go inner-tubing. That was definitely my favorite part of growing up with my dad because it was just the two of us and we would have a great time. He even coached my basketball and soccer team growing up. We went on trips and all kinds of stuff. We were very close."
Known as Cate by everyone but her dad, the 21-year-old college student is currently completing her senior year at Princeton University in New Jersey. When she's not in class, however, she's campaigning for her father, one of nine candidates hoping to be the Democratic candidate for President.
In an interview with Scholastic News Online, Cate continuously praised her father, calling him "very optimistic" and a great choice for President.
"When he was a lawyer, he would really, really fight for the people he represented," she said. "He wouldn't stop. He worked very, very hard, and wouldn't stop until he got the job done."
If the nation chose her dad as President, Cate says voters would also get a great First Lady in the deal. She describes her mother, Elizabeth, as very smart and independent.
"She's not into the spotlight, but she's handled it very well," Cate said. "I think she'd be great [as First Lady]. She has a lot of followers herself."
Since Cate's dad decided to run for President, his oldest daughter's schedule has become just as hectic as his. They have not let their whirlwind schedules interfere with their close relationship, however. When both are at home watching TV, Cate makes sure her pop watches Friends, her favorite show. She also quizzes him about pop culture to keep him up to date on the latest buzz.
The hardest part of being this close to history, says Cate, is more than the action-packed schedules. She sometimes hears harsh criticism of her father.
"It's hard to read that people don't like or disagree with things that your parents are doing," she says, "but nothing that anyone writes could change my opinion of my dad. It's difficult to read sometimes, but it doesn't really have an impact on me or the way that I think of him."
To Cate, John Edwards is a fun and entertaining father who is not afraid to cut up or cut a rug. "He's really not a good dancer, though," she says. "I've made so much fun of him, he just does it now to entertain me. It's very funny!"
Although she admits that sometimes she is more of a liberal than her father is on some issues, she and her dad have the same basic ideas. She says she supports him 100 percent in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
"I believe he would make an amazing President," Cate said. "I want to see someone like that in office; someone who can make my future brighter."