John Dickerson

John Dickerson is a CBS senior national correspondent and Chief Political Analyst. He is also a Contributing Writer to The Atlantic and is co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

Grit: Take 11 More Steps

We interviewed explorer Louis Rudd on the show yesterday. He dragged himself and a sled across the snow, wind, despair, and oh-come-on-why-are-you-doing-this of Antarctica.

When Rudd wanted to stop at the end of long days– including days when he had to walk backwards to find his supplies that had become hidden in the driving snow– he always took 11 more steps. Why? In honor of the lesson of English explorer Robert Falcon Scott. In the early 1900s Scott and the other members of the Terra Nova Expedition perished as they explored Antarctica. Scott’s final words to his diary: “Last entry. For God’s sake look after our people.” What does that have to do with the 11 steps? Rudd says that someone calculated that if Scott had taken 11 more steps a day he would not have perished.