E.E.'s entourage

Elizabeth Edwards stood momentarily alone near the foyer of the Radisson Hotel. A woman approached the wife of democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and asked, “Where’s your entourage?” and Edwards laughed. She pointed to a woman near the exit. “There she is,” Edwards said. “Clair,” the woman Edwards described as her “muscle.”

Then the crowd converged and for an instant Edwards, who has terminal cancer, looked frail, almost lost in the crush. When she emerged, Edwards was holding the hand of a woman who said that she too had breast cancer metastasis and was struggling. Three other women greeted her with the same story and Edwards embraced them in turn, her focus fixed gently on each face.

Clair watched from the sidelines. When asked how it felt to be the one and only member of Edwards’ entourage, she said, “It’s the best. She’s the best.” She said that Edwards wants to spend every minute of the time she had left doing this.