For the Edwards Kids, It's Time for Stump School

Emma Claire, center, and brother Jack get a head start on the campaign trail with older sis Cate and dad John Edwards.
Emma Claire, center, and brother Jack get a head start on the campaign trail with older sis Cate and dad John Edwards. (Brian Snyder -- Reuters)
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, April 5, 2007

Two political insiders have joined John and Elizabeth Edwards on the campaign trail this week: Emma Claire, 8, and Jack, 6. The kids are on spring break, but this fall they'll get a tutor and hit the road.

"They love it," said Jennifer Palmieri, a campaign aide. "They get a little bored hearing their dad talk all the time, and they often break off early, particularly if the hotel has an indoor swimming pool."

After Elizabeth announced last month that her cancer had returned, pundits started debating if campaigning would take too much time from the younger children. (Daughter Cate, 25, is a student at Harvard Law School.) On Friday, the Edwardses said they've decided to withdraw the children from their public elementary school in Chapel Hill, N.C., and hire a tutor for at least six months -- an idea the family was considering before the diagnosis.

The kids, in third and first grades, will finish the school year with their classmates. On her campaign blog last week, Elizabeth wrote that she or her husband personally drives them to school every morning. After yesterday's campaign stop in Iowa, the family headed to North Carolina for a short vacation at the beach.

Grandpa Cheney Says Mary Will Have a Boy

It'll be a boy for Mary Cheney! Her dad revealed the gender of his future grandchild yesterday during an interview with ABC News Radio.

"I'm delighted I'm about to be a grandparent for the sixth time," said Dick Cheney. "I'm looking forward to the arrival of a new grandson." The veep confirmed that the baby is due next month; this will be the first child for Mary and partner Heather Poe, and the third grandson for the Cheneys.

But he wasn't touching the question about the same-sex family's legal standing. "I think each state ought to have the capacity to decide how they want to handle those issues," he said. " . . . And I obviously think it's important for us as a society to be tolerant and respectful of whatever arrangements people enter into."

Make Way for Ducklings

Mother-to-be Doha  diplomatically positioned downtown, just like last year.
Mother-to-be Doha diplomatically positioned downtown, just like last year.(Korin Miller - The Washington Post)
Another sign of spring: the mother-to-be brooding over her nest of eggs outside the U.S. trade representative's office downtown.

It's the second year that the same duck has made her way to the agency, just one block west of the White House, and who can blame her? Last year when the eggs hatched, employees aided by some Secret Service types provided the mom and her ducklings with an escort across busy 17th Street and down to the Mall ponds. Expect a repeat of that scene any day now.

"The consensus seems to be that ducklings are on the way, according to people who watched her last year, from how she seems to be positioning herself," said agency spokesman Sean Spicer.

The U.S. trade rep herself, Susan Schwab, paid a diplomatic visit Tuesday, and the staff has given the duck a name: Doha. You know, after the current round of global trade talks.

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

  • George Michael at Nathans yesterday, where the ex-Channel 4 sportscaster, who was the luncheon speaker, was surrounded by past and present colleagues (anchor Jim Vance, weatherman Bob Ryan, Arch Campbell, his producer/wife Pat). Daughter Michele, he joked, remains at the station as an executive producer "under an assumed name."

    Keith Richards is now denying his own story that he snorted his father's ashes mixed with a bit of cocaine. His rep claims the quote in the U.K. music mag NME (picked up worldwide; "Father Nose Best," says N.Y. Post) was "a joke," though the mag insists the story only "came about after much thinking" by the 63-year-old guitarist. On the Stones' Web site, Richards says, "I wouldn't take cocaine at this point in my life unless I wished to commit suicide."

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