TODAY   |  March 30, 2013

Cate Edwards: ‘I try not to question the good things’

The eldest daughter of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards sat down for her first interview since her father went on trial for campaign finance fraud last year. “It's the people around you who sort of pick you up and keep carrying you when you can't do it yourself,” Edwards said. TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the eldest daughter of former presidential candidate john edwards . cate sat down with savannah guthrie recently for her first interview since her dad's trial for campaign fraud last year. she opened up about the trial and her family and how she is moving on.

>> reporter: between the law office she opened last year in washington, and the foundation she established in raleigh to honor her late mother, cate edwards is moving on from all of the turmoil her family has experienced. how do you kind of process everything that's happened?

>> i don't think i really process it or reflect on it so much. i feel very lucky in a lot of ways, so i try not to question the good things so much and i try not to question the bad things too much because there's life going on.

>> reporter: but life was put on hold last year when her father, john edwards , was charged with using campaign donations to cover up an affair with staffer rielle hunter. cate was by his side every day of the trial. i guess what some people -- what they are sympathetic to is that i think they imagine you kind of in the middle. you know, on the one hand you are incredibly loyal to your mom and on the other hand you're incredibly loyal to your dad. did you ever feel that kind of internal conflict ?

>> it came up occasionally there was some conflict, but i love both of my parents very much and i'm close with them in different ways, and they're different people. it just wasn't mutually exclusive for me.

>> reporter: cate 's commitment to her parents has been one of the constants in a life filled with incredible highs and lows.

>> today i have the honor of being the last to say, mom, i really, really love you more.

>> reporter: you always seemed so strong and pretty amazing. how hard it was for you to see all this laid bare for everyone to see.

>> everyone can be strong when they need to. and i've certainly had some tests. but i've had lots of moments where i didn't feel so strong. my mother taught me this more than anything. it's the people around you who sort of pick you up and keep carrying you when you can't do it yourself.

>> reporter: the people around her now include her husband, trevor upham, her younger siblings anna clair and jack and her father who she still talks to regularly. who do you think the real john edwards is? because everybody probably thinks they know.

>> yeah. they probably do. he really is -- he's been an incredible father, incredibly loving and supportive and, you sometimes he'll just call me up to ask how my law career is going. he really is passionate about helping people. and in spite of his mistakes, trying to do something really positive with his life.

>> cate edwards with savannah guthrie . to read a special post cate wrote exclusively for our website and to learn more about the elizabeth edwards foundation