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. Brian

    I used to be a Clinton supporter, but it seems more and more that she isn't really as much about fixing things as desperate to be President. I have looked at this video over and over and the debates over and over and you know what... her eyes NEVER change. She caught her voice up and tried and tried, but nothing changed about her eyes. Every person, man and woman, that I've ever seen truly choke back tears, real tears, has their eyes turn a bit red, and their lids tighten. She looked like an actress and it felt phony to me. I don't mind a candidate crying and don't think it necessarily makes a woman appear weak. But this crying, the complaint of double standards on Access Hollywood and then the "sexist attack" by the guys with "Iron My Shirt" signs... oh yes, and Bill last night saying "I can't maker her younger or taller or a male"... all attempts, in my opinion to galvanize women to vote for one of their own. Classic divide and conquer politics. Can she actually get questions from real people and not plants? I think the question that led to her being "choked up" as well as the ridiculous stunt of the guys with those signs are all phony. Again, I was a strong supporter for her, but now I am totally repulsed by her campaign. I will be voting for Obama.

    January 7, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  2. ramon dela cruz

    she can't be a president. we don't need an emotional president to decide what's up. we don't need crying to run america. we need a strong president.

    January 7, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  3. Robin

    As a woman of the United States of America and reading many of these comments, I am appalled. Apparently, we really do still have a long way to go to be considered equals in this country.

    And that disgusts me.

    When a male candidate shows similar emotion, he's called passionate. When a woman does it, it's weakness.

    For goodness' sake! WAKE UP! It is the year 2008 and guess what? SEXISM IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL.

    I guess women are still considered second class citizens in this chauvinistic world.

    Btw, I'm not even a Hillary supporter. But this is freakin' ridiculous, people. Shame on you.

    January 7, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. Bonnie, Longmont, CO

    We all have to remember that this is difficult for ALL the candidates. They are all tired, and have all been criticized. I am not interested in electing someone to be the President of the United States of America who cries at the face of stress and challenges. It is during these times that a leader steps up, and doesn't break down during the most difficult times. Someone who always presents themselves as Presidential, calm, and completely in control.

    January 7, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  5. ef

    I believe that Hillary is imperfect, and that's not news. I also believe it doesn't matter if she gets slightly emotional when talking about her feelings for this country (not her hair, you freaks) and I think she's the most qualified for the job.

    I am frightened and concerned at the criteria that people are posting here on how they elect politicians.

    We can't afford to let this election be a popularity contest (and it isn't since the popular vote seemingly doesn't count) so why turn it into one? Look what happened last time everyone went with the candidate they thought was more 'down home'?

    Pay attention to the issues, the records, and the resources at hand. Do not be a Hillary Hater just because it's fashionable. Do not be an Obama Lover because it's what's going around. Don't default to Edwards. Let's make some real choices here based on something!

    January 7, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  6. Ray J.

    B. Hussein Obama and his people are getting cocky.

    Anybody seen a sporting event where the other team got cocky and the result caused momentum to swing.

    Someone somewhere ,probably Chicago, is going to come forward with some disturbing news on him. Drugs, hookers. mistress. his rise has been unbelievable but his people are daring the country to find fault.

    You heard it here from an old man that has watched alot of contests-not just political. It's snowballing. Wait until they go south and the good old boy Republicans get done with him. His rise is scaring the Republicans. Here comes the stink on him.

    I'm talking in the primary not the general election. They will cross over you know.

    Politics won't change just because Obama says he is for change. Its all deeper than that.

    January 7, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  7. Christine

    Oh, it's okay for Mitt Romney to cry during a speech, but Hillary can't show some passion for her country. Sexist. :/

    January 7, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  8. Doug from GA

    I truly believe Hilary demonstrated a wonderful, poignant, candid personal moment of truth. It was done in a fashion of a sister/brother; mother/son;wife/husband: and, this was a leader/nation concise portrayal of imagining the full potential of a strong nation led by a "the right person" , now. It's time to fulfill those powerfull, yet sensitive potentials, opportunities, and goals. Hilary actually asked for the nation's permission to lead us through our most needed rehabilatation, as a nation, we have needed for so long. She has the ability to look down the road at the circumstances, consequences, risks, and priorities to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am the head of my household, and we have six registered voters. My family looks toward "dear old dad", before every election for leadership on what to do. I know what my answer will be, now.
    GO Hilary!

    January 7, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. Dee Ward Mena, AR

    Greg in NY...if you will remember, everyone thought bush was a good ole likeable guy that you would want to have a beer with. Took a few years for them to find out that he wasn't what he appeared to be. Now we need someone qualified. You don't have to like, you just need to vote for her as she is the most qualified of all the candidates. What we want is someone qualified for the job, not miss congeniality.
    The republicans would love to have obama as the nominee as they know they could beat him but they are afraid of Hillary as they know she would win...I say, black or white, man or woman, qualifications are what count.

    January 7, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  10. Bob from GA

    I don't know about Romney, there is something kind of "prurient about his manner, and looks. It's like, would you really buy a used car from this guy- oops, I guess His grand father was the bigshot at two or three motor companies; just before they went bankrupt. Of course he had a "golden parachute", out of his predicaments. He always left the bodies behind; probably where the "old money" came from. Seems kind of like that, you know?

    January 7, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  11. Craig_JD

    I find it interesting that people are so willing to cede a significant edge to Hillary in "experience". What kind of experience? Life experience? Experience as an executive? What are her qualifications when compared to those of Obama? Just living in the White House doesn't count as "experience". I'm not willing to stipulate that Hillary has a significant edge over Obama in experience. She certainly does not have his vision or charisma – which I define as the ability to make people want to listen to you. I also want to address the issue of race. Those who believe that any mention of race is a play of the "race card", have very little understanding of the very real disadvantages African American have faced in the country – both past and present. The arrogance/ignorance of some would have us to believe that racism no longer exists – that we are all "Americans". But we African American who have experienced discrimination know better. As long as there is disparate treatment of African Americans in the US, we will continue to identify it for what it is – and rightly so. Obama's victory in Iowa signals that progress has been and continues to be made on the racial front. His message of inclusion dares Americans to hope. He is the right man in a time when America's image needs a facelift.

    January 7, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  12. Abe Saleh

    I guess Hilary did sell herself after all.
    Hilary's game is to gain all women support on her side. She got it.
    Read the comments above and see women's response.
    What a game. Business as usual.
    That's really politics, what ever it takes.

    January 7, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. Bob

    I cant stand that woman!

    January 7, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. Bob from GA

    The way I see it shaping up is like this. Hilary takes President, with Edwards as Vice President; and commit Obama to a high level, relevant cabinet secretary (he really needs to learn the ropes). Now let's see those lights, and it isn't an oncoming train (beat you to it).

    January 7, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Check out their actual records:

    http://2008electionprocon.org/?gclid=CNfFs5Wz1JACFSJbiAodqU4fPA

    January 7, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  16. Dave

    You have to be kidding me. If she sobs now with her supposedly vast experience in the primary because she is losing, imagine her sobbing hoping the terrorists will have sympathy for her. You have to be strong here and she is already showing that her experience is more in sob stories than actual work when it really matters. Not a leadership quality anybody should be looking for.

    January 7, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  17. maungckhin

    Experience is the best teacher. I think Hillary had a experience, which she is being around the President who is making very important decision very closely. That kinds of experience which she has. Talking is cheap.

    January 7, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  18. Shawn

    First of all, I can't think of many public servants that deserve this nomination more than Hillary Clinton. She has spent her entire life working HARD to help the American people. We have come to a point in time where we have grown frustrated with the Washington crowd and are making some pretty hefty demands for change... without regard to the impact those changes may have on the country as a whole. This is a passionate woman who, when people take time to get to "know" her a bit more, comes across as a real champion of the average American. So she got emotional at a campaign stop. Has President Bush not become emotional when visiting wounded soldiers in military hospitals? Being the President of the United States of America is a HUGE responsibility, and I think that any person who views the office of the presidency as having some sort of requirement that its occupant be a stoic is just plain ignorant. How could the president NOT be emotional? This woman is not emotional for no reason; she is emotional because she understands what's at risk and she has spent her whole life trying to get us on the right track. Her husband was a fighter. So what he lied. Did he hurt us? Are our troops dying in battle right now because of lies HE told or his PREDECESSOR told? The Clintons are good Americans. They have been there to fight for us time and time again and I feel Hillary would do the same. And the fact that she has openly shown emotion on the campaign trail is a sign, to me, that she is ready to face the challenges ahead and will overcome them–the same as she has always done in the past. This is a wonderful woman who deserves a chance to prove how much she loves America. She's got my vote!

    January 7, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  19. old

    Don't want to go back is right. That's why one cannot vote for old Hill and Slick will. The fake tears will not make everyone forget Waco either.

    January 7, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  20. A's Mom

    Wow, this is a tough crowd!

    I found this site helpful to check out the candidate's voting records and positions:

    http://2008electionprocon.org/?gclid=CNfFs5Wz1JACFSJbiAodqU4fPA

    January 7, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    As the 2008 Presidential Election continually unfolds, I have been glued
    to all the news channels that are covering it. As a New Yorker, and an
    avid Hillary supporter, I find it disappointing that voters are being
    swayed by poetic and nothing more than fluffy talk as well as the
    likeability of a candidate. We have already been through this ordeal and
    have been fooled two different times by Republicans (current president as
    example 1).

    Hillary is already recognized as a world leader, she has
    proven herself as a New York Senator being an advocate for every single
    New Yorker. She has been there to improve healthcare for everyone, bring
    and keep jobs in small New York towns, work to keep New York agriculture
    vibrant, raise the middle class and help to keep New York’s economy alive.
    She has worked with Democrats and Republicans to bring about the “change”
    that everyone wants to talk about. She came into New York after being
    First Lady to a very skeptical voting base. After seeing her work hard,
    without her husbands help, reaching out to individuals and communities in
    a variety of ways while representing every single New Yorker and earning
    their respect, she has overwhelming won our support.

    Everyone talks about shutting down the “Clinton Machine.” Hillary is not the “Clinton Machine,” she is undoubtedly the “Experience Machine,” the “World Leader Machine,” the “Healthcare Machine,” the “Economy Machine,” the “Change Machine,” and the list continues, but this probably would be best noted as the “Hillary Machine.” She will work to accomplish everything that needs
    to be done, and as we know every closet, cabinet and desk in the White
    House will need to be sorted through and cleaned out and only a candidate
    with Hillary’s stamina will get that done.

    So while other candidates have these big ideas about change and removing the status quo (remember that they too have participated Washington politics or what they call the status quo), Hillary is not the status quo and she will lead the country
    into the future taking change and combining it with experience to make the
    “Hillary Machine.”

    Hillary is truly the person to get the job done and the fact the people are falling into this trap that is hope is devastating to what needs to be done in this country. I am 100% positive if we rely on hope to bring us change, we are in trouble. Experience should be what counts, longevity should be what counts. I am glad candidates are hoping for change and have a vision for change. Having hope and visions are not new concepts, Hillary has always had the hope and vision and that's is why she has gone from respected lawyer, mother, friend, world renowned and involved First Lady, New York Senator and now President of the United States.

    January 7, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  22. linda

    Crocodile tears? No , those were snake tears! She didn't show that much emotion when we all knew her husband was cheating on her! Unbelievable!!

    January 7, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  23. Jeffrey

    As the 2008 Presidential Election continually unfolds, I have been glued
    to all the news channels that are covering it. As a New Yorker, and an
    avid Hillary supporter, I find it disappointing that voters are being
    swayed by poetic and nothing more than fluffy talk as well as the
    likeability of a candidate. We have already been through this ordeal and
    have been fooled two different times by Republicans (current president as
    example 1).

    Hillary is already recognized as a world leader, she has
    proven herself as a New York Senator being an advocate for every single
    New Yorker. She has been there to improve healthcare for everyone, bring
    and keep jobs in small New York towns, work to keep New York agriculture
    vibrant, raise the middle class and help to keep New York’s economy alive.
    She has worked with Democrats and Republicans to bring about the “change”
    that everyone wants to talk about. She came into New York after being
    First Lady to a very skeptical voting base. After seeing her work hard,
    without her husbands help, reaching out to individuals and communities in
    a variety of ways while representing every single New Yorker and earning
    their respect, she has overwhelming won our support.

    Everyone talks about shutting down the “Clinton Machine.” Hillary is not the “Clinton Machine,” she is undoubtedly the “Experience Machine,” the “World Leader Machine,” the “Healthcare Machine,” the “Economy Machine,” the “Change Machine,” and the list continues, but this probably would be best noted as the “Hillary Machine.” She will work to accomplish everything that needs
    to be done, and as we know every closet, cabinet and desk in the White
    House will need to be sorted through and cleaned out and only a candidate
    with Hillary’s stamina will get that done.

    So while other candidates have these big ideas about change and removing the status quo (remember that they too have participated Washington politics or what they call the status quo), Hillary is not the status quo and she will lead the country
    into the future taking change and combining it with experience to make the
    “Hillary Machine.”

    Hillary is truly the person to get the job done and the fact the people are falling into this trap that is hope is devastating to what needs to be done in this country. I am 100% positive if we rely on hope to bring us change, we are in trouble. Experience should be what counts, longevity should be what counts. I am glad candidates are hoping for change and have a vision for change. Having hope and visions are not new concepts, Hillary has always had the hope and vision and that's is why she has gone from respected lawyer, mother, friend, world renowned and involved First Lady, New York Senator and now President of the United States.

    January 7, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  24. No GO

    I personally do not care about the sex of the canidates but I just DO NOT TRUST HILARY. She seems to be all about $$$$. We need someone in the W.H who understands and works for the middle class.

    January 7, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  25. Victor Hugo

    We want a strong Commander in Chief who can pulling the troupe from Iraq. No crying baby or PMS conductor in the White House, how can we trust her?

    Common baby! We want to see something new.

    Go back to NY and let someone who can do the job to take care us.

    January 7, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
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