January 7th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
2 years ago

Clinton gets emotional at New Hampshire stop

Watch Obama react to Bhutto's death

Watch Clinton get emotional at a New Hampshire stop Monday.

PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire (CNN) - Hillary Clinton became visibly emotional at a New Hampshire campaign event today after a friendly question from a voter.

At the close of a Portsmouth campaign stop, Marianne Pernold-Young, 64, asked Clinton: "How do you do it? How do you keep up... and who does your hair?"

Clinton began noting that she had help with her hair on "special days," and that she drew criticism on the days she did not. Then she added: "It's not easy, and I couldn't do it if I just didn't, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do.

"You know, I have so many opportunities from this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards," she said, her voice breaking a bit. The audience applauded.

"This is very personal for me, it's not just political, it's [that] I see what's happening, we have to reverse it," she said emotionally, adding that some "just put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds.

"But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us ready and some of us are not. Some of us know what we will do on day one, and some of us really haven't thought that through enough...

"So as tired as I am - and I am. And as difficult as it is to try and keep up what I try to do on the road, like occasionally exercise and try to eat right - it's tough when the easiest food is pizza - I just believe so strongly in who we are as a nation. So I'm gonna do everything I can and make my case and you know the voters get to decide."

The New York senator is under pressure after some weekend surveys showed opponent Barack Obama with a sudden double-digit edge, with less than a day to go until the New Hampshire primary.

At a New Hampshire campaign event, presidential rival John Edwards told reporters he was unaware of Clinton's emotional reaction and would not respond to it, but added, according to CNN's Dugald McDonnell: "I think what we need in a commander in chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are a tough business, but being President of the United States is also a very tough business. And the President of the United States is faced with very, very difficult challenges every single day, difficult judgments every single day."

– CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • New Hampshire
soundoff (926 Responses)
  1. maggie hughes

    I find it refreshing that we have a Presidential candidate that shows Human traits.
    It is Human to show emotion.
    Thank God Hillary is not afraid of showing that she is Human;instead of being a Robot.
    Maggie Hughes
    Santa Rosa,Ca 95403

    January 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Andrea Texas

    Are we so afraid to be ourselves that we have to follow the crowd? We compromise our self worth & dignity when we "just follow the crowd", or "gee, that candidate is good looking, he has my vote." We believe what we read and hear, and really don't take an active part. This is the fate of our country, NOT a date for the prom. I am not a Republican, but I am here to tell you, they do NOT lie. They do NOT care about the middle class, working class, or the poor OR the fact that we are paying taxes the rich are gracefully exempt from. They tell you in very politically correct terms. Remember when we point fingers at the moral issues – you have some pointing back at you.
    We have the opportunity to elect Senator Clinton, whom is one of the most intelligent, creative, dignified and experienced persons that would represent our country with pride. She has 35 years of experience, has taken hard knocks, has worked tirelessly for countless human issues, and knows what is going on. Her husband was President of our Country and a fine one. Senator Clinton, we are praying for you. We urge you on with all the courage and grace you have. God Bless You

    January 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Heather

    Guys, I think we all have great points, but what we have to look at in the long run is going into this election, our nation is divided. This is something our enemies thrive on and something we must remedy as soon as possible.
    We need someone who can ease the pain, heal this country and rebuild our foreign relationships.
    As strong as I see Hillary, I do not think she has the ability to bring this nation together right now. Republicans would not respect her and Democrats are divided over her. It would be 4-8 years of continued division which is scary from a national security perspective.
    I believe she needs another 4-8 years to rebuild her image and get to the forefront as a leader and not an antagonist. She has the skill . . .she just needs to tone things down a bit. S
    he will be able to lead this nation, but she must first win it's trust and that takes time and a lot of effort. She can do it though and we can support her as she does.

    January 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Lana - California

    What do you folks out there want. We have a female candidate out there who is bright, educated, strong as your Father, soft as your Mother. Capable of leading this country in every way. Let's give her a real chance.

    Vote for Hillary

    January 7, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Joe

    Did half of you even watch the clip?

    First, she didn't "break down" into a wallowing mess (as some of you would like us all to believe). She said what she was feeling and even smiled a bit. It doesn't take much (just a human heart) to see it was just a little bit of emotion, which I'd expect from anyone who is probably getting by on 4 hours of sleep a night for over a week.

    Did anyone else notice how tired ALL of the candidates were in the debates this weekend? Love them or hate them these people are putting themselves out there asking to be our leader for the next 4 years.

    Sadly, the cynicism in the US right now will probably prevent a rational discussion of strengths and weaknesses of any candidate or either party. And, then, when we do get excited, we get swept up on fervent emotions like some hero is going to come to power and solve all our problems. If you don't think that isn't a recipe for disaster, try opening up a history book sometime.

    I think its disgusting how people are piling on about this little 2-minute clip. Give it a rest!

    January 7, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Deanne

    What? There's no CRYING in politics!! You have got to be kidding me. I can't decide if this is a ploy to soften up her image or if she's really that close to an emotional breakdown.

    I'd rather see "hard-line" Hillary than a crying Clinton. Either way, Go Barack!!!!

    January 7, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Karissa

    Its simply humourous to see the scared little boys get up in arms about a strong, intelligent woman.

    Unfortunately, even in 2008, a strong woman is still intimidating.

    Has anyone really compared the records of all candidates running?

    How often did John Edwards even vote/show up when in the Senate?

    Wasn't Obama lickin a lollipop in 2nd grade less than 5 yrs ago?

    It scares me to have someone in office that has as little or less experience than the current moron we have now.

    Don't you want prosperity, equality, and to mend our international relationships?

    January 7, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Nate, Iowa

    Most of our best Presidents didn't have any experience. The Senate isn't some training course for the presidency. People get that, which is why they aren't buying Clinton and opting for Obama. Everything about Obama is better plus he brings in new people so he can actually win the general election. A vote for Clinton or Edwards is like a vote for a Republican.

    January 7, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. RCA

    BO-HOO BO-HOO HILLARY. GIVE ME A BREAK, DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU ARE FOOLING ANYONE WITH YOU TEARS. YOU WILL SAY AND DO ANYTHING TO WIN THE NOMINATION...FROM WE NEED AN EXPERIENCED PERSON IN THE WHITE HOUSE TO I'M THE CANDIDATE OF CHANGE, TO I'M NOT BEING TREATED FAIRLY, AND TODAY I READ THAT YOU DIDN'T REALLY VOTE FOR THE WAR STATING "AT THE TIME THAT VOTE TOOK PLACE, I SAID IT WASN'T A VOTE FOR PRE-EMPTIVE WAR". YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A PHONY. YOU LOST IOWA AND NOW YOU WILL LOSE NEW HAMPSHIRE. BO-HOO BO-HOO HILLARY.

    January 7, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. Jim

    First – I'm an Independent – and would never vote for Hillary – You can Laugh at her fools – but she's RIGHT – Obama "talks the Talk - but haven't "walked the walk" He ain't did nothing in Congress - Tell me how a racist can "unite" ? go see what his Church is all about and you'll see what I'm talking about

    January 7, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Jim

    Forgot the link to Obama's racist church – here it is: http://www.tucc.org/about.htm

    January 7, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Jim O'Donnell, Denver CO

    After seeing the comments here I took a look at the video expecting a big emotional break down. I was expecting hankies pulled out and mascara running down her cheeks.

    It is sad that people are ready to pounce on her for showing this little bit emotion. Try attacking her on the issues, instead of going after her like a pack of hyenas.

    January 7, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. andy

    wow I just read all of this stuff that you wrote !! I see you can say alot right now so if your that tuff to say that about people ladies and gentle men put on the United States Uniform and help finish this god for saken war so real heros can come home !Oh maybe you dont want that maybe you would like to be like the guy who hussels you but has not defended this country either I see how it is with todays youth!!

    January 7, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Bernadette

    Of course Hillary is tired and exhausted and at her witts end. She is running for President of the United States of American and she is giving it her all. If she wasn't tired and nervous, etc. than it would mean she wasn't giving it her all. Maybe what we should be looking for is how tired and exhausted Obama and Edwards are and ask them why they aren't giving it their all.

    Hillary is a strong person. This means that sometimes she will be tired and sometimes she will be in a good mood and sometimes she will be unpleasant. Her personality, like everyone else, is not a constant. People who think any of these candidates have only one type of reaction to everything are not in reality.

    No one can ever argue that Hillary is not the most intelligent "person" running in this campaign and the "person" with the most experience and with the absolute most guts. Whether you like her or not is a different question, but whether or not this "person" could run circles around any one of us is not up for question.

    I would get in a debate with Obama or Edwards way before I would get in the ring with Hillary. Hillary loves this country, she loves serving it and she loves the power that comes along with it all. None of those are bad things and there is just no doubt that she is smarter and stronger than Obama and Edwards.

    Obama and Edwards, to be honest, only got this far because they are good talkers. Neither one is overly intelligent, neither one is much of a hard worker, neither one is in this for any better reason than Hillary and neither one is going to do as good a job as Hillary.

    It really seems like the people of the United States are going to again vote based on a code word, for Bush it was "9/11" and for Obama and Edwards it is "Change." The American people need to go one notch up and question these candidates. And see what they really stand for and not just clap on que when they hear the code words.

    Of course Hillary is tired and exhausted and at her witts end. She is running for President of the United States of American and she is giving it her all. If she wasn't tired and nervous, etc. than it would mean she wasn't giving it her all. Maybe what we should be looking for is how tired and exhausted Obama and Edwards are and ask them why they aren't giving it their all.

    January 7, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. A Marine

    What a wonderful way to get more attention. .. and I am sure that once you are my President.... your opportunities will be all you care about...

    I can only hope, that the voters this wonderful country, are not fooled by your tears. Tears from an arm chair! Pick up a rifle and give something back... your tears will mean something then!

    January 7, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. joAnna

    I find it to be such a shock that we live in a country where the democratic nominee is such an obvious choice, and yet there is still contention. The records of the candidates speak for themselves. Clinton is the most experienced, loyal, intelligent and passionate Democrat running and America needs to recognize this fast. If Obama does recieve the nomination, I will vote for him, but with great reservation. I feel as though both Obama and Edward's have taken it upon themselves to trash her character and portray her as the desperate candidate at every opportunity. Yet, no one seems to notice Obama's weaknesses. The media's obvious bias toward him has caused such a struggle for Hillary. They will turn their attention toward whichever candidate they think will create the most sensational stories and call for revolution. As Hillary has stated over and over again, let's pause and take a look at reality. Look at the records of the candiates. Look at the truth that each candidate has exhibited. It is a time for honesty and this country and I want a president that I can PREDICT this time. We cannot afford to take a chance on another president who "seems" as though he is the most viable candidate. Vote for Hillary. There will be no guessing games for you. We haven't just heard about what she will do. We have seen it and felt it in our hearts. As far as her emotional response to the question today, it is just another testament to her passion for this country. If she were a male who became emotional, we would hear of how deeply moved and compassionate he seemed. Give her a break. Her response was just another example of her love for her country and how much it breaks her heart to see where we are now. Maybe if we had a president who harbored this kind of heartfelt emotion during the Bush administration we wouldn't be in this mess.

    January 7, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. LINDA KING

    PEOPLE SHOULD NOT VOTE FOR RACE, FOR GENDER, BUT FOR WHO YOU THINK IS BEST TO LEAD THE COUNTRY. I AM A MIDDLEAGE BLACK WOMAN, WHO BELIEVE IN CHANGE, BUT THE RIGHT ONE. I DON'T WANT TO JUMP ON THE BAND WAGON BECAUSE, HE IS BLACK OR BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN, BUT WHO QUALIFIEDS A A CREIDABLE CHIEF AND COMMANDER. IN WHICH, I TRUELY BELIEVE THAT HILLARY WILL BRING ABOUT THE BIGGEST CHANGE FOR AMERICA, AND SEEING THIS SOFT SIDE OF HERS, DOESN'T MAKE HER WEAK, BECAUSE JESUS WEPT.

    January 7, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. eOpinion

    I just saw the video and some of you guys are really overreacting. She didn't drop any tears or boohoo. It was a pretty mild episode, if you ask me. She had a 'moment' and was able to speak continuously for the duration. Big deal. Maybe she faked it, maybe she didn't.

    I don't think this shows weakness at all. You can come up with better reasons not to vote for her than what I'm reading here–some of these comments are too ridiculous to take seriously. The minute you mock her, that's when you lose all your credibility and I ignore your point of view.

    I will say that for entirely different reasons, I will be supporting OBAMA in the primaries. I biggest worry is that Hillary pulls it out in the 'bigger' primaries. My same fear is with Guilliani or Romney pulling it out in the later primaries as well, where 'Big Buisness' has a stronger influence (at least in my pessimistic mind). These guys are heavily financed and I just can't see it, in the end, working for the "insurgent candidates." I really hope I'm wrong. Get out there and vote in the primaries and scare these people that think they can buy influence.

    January 7, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. JoshR

    Nothing that Hilary ever does is without planning or purpose. The biggest blow to her campaign is that she does not have the majority of woman voters on her side. In this emotional display she is obviously pandering to women by giving herself more of a vulnerable persona than the rough impervious exterior it seems she always carries.

    January 7, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. TO JIM'S COMMENT ABOUT OBAMA'S CHURCH

    Jim

    ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? YOU HAVE SOME NERVE TALKING ABOUT A RACIST CHURCH. HAS OBAMA SAID ANYTHING ABOUT BLACK UNITY? NO HE HAS NOT. HE TALKS ABOUT UNITING EVERYONE. GET A LIFE AND GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. WHITE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DIVIDING THIS COUNTRY WITH KKK RALLIES AND WHITE SHEETS FOR DECADES AND NOW YOU WANT TO BRING OBAMA'S CHURCH INTO THIS MESS. SHAME ON YOU. KEEP HIS CHURCH OUT OF IT. THIS WORLD IS FULL OF HELL AND HEADED STRAIGHT TO HELL BECASUE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU!

    January 7, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. teri, nc (outerbanks)

    SOMEONE GIVE ME A BARF BAG.

    HRC= WORLD'S PHONIEST

    Hillary- A few more acting classes wouldn't hurt.

    January 7, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. Dennis Las vegas NV

    there is one thing I need to know and that is what do you mean by experience? Technically non of the people running for president has the criteria for leading a nation because non of them had lead a nation. so the people that say that their candidate has experience pleas let us know what that experience is because until they have led a nation they do not have the experience.

    One more thing leave Hillary alone so what if she choked up at a moment just because George Bush hasn't cried in public doesn't mean that he doesn't cry every night for his owbn stupidity which I would love to know how he got the top job in the U.S.

    January 7, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. CRAIG

    Where in 35 yrs did Hillary make a change. The system is worst than it ever was. We don't want the same old change, we want new change. We want a president like Obama. President Clinton was the president not Hillary, Where in 35 years did she change anything, she tried with health care when her husband was president and fail. She is the one making broken promises. Hillary is a big joke. She talk about not just talking change but making change people like to be inspired, people need hope. We don't need the same ole ole.... I look forward to a new change.

    January 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Thomas, Baton Rouge, LA

    I do not think showing emotion is a bad thing. The problem is, in this case, I don't BELIEVE it.

    I am not a Clinton basher. In fact, there is no GOP candidate that I would give the time of day, excepting maybe McCain.

    I jast have a very jaded opinion of politicians in general. And the GOP has proven that it's unfit to lead due to incompetence and gross hypocricy in recent years. Not to mention at least borderline criminal behavior.

    January 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. Julie

    My question to the ones of you who are so cynical, What do you fear from Hillary?
    Obviously, you forget the economic state of our country during the Clinton years, I would welcome it back with open arms. I think the problem is so many of you voted for President Bush, not once , but twice,,, and I would trust your opinion WHY?

    January 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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