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Here’s the transcript of Couric’s Wednesday afternoon tribute to Edwards’ defunct campaign:
John Edwards has dropped out of the presidential campaign, but only after having a major impact on the rest of the race.
Agree with him or not, he deserves credit for pushing tough issues off the back burner. He encouraged his fellow Democrats to speak out for the disenfranchised and under-served. He was the first to raise issues like poverty, universal health care and climate change, proposing big ideas -- sometimes controversial ideas -- to meet big challenges.
He bucked the conventional wisdom and took political risks, speaking honestly about why he wanted to raise taxes, for example.
That took courage -- and so did the decision to continue his campaign after his wife Elizabeth had a recurrence of breast cancer. The two of them were an inspiration to millions who struggle to live, really live, with cancer.
John Edwards may have ended his presidential campaign. But what he started isn't over. He and his message have left a lasting impression. That's a page from my notebook. I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.