January 9th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Voter who made Clinton teary picked Obama

The CNN Ticker

Marianne Pernold Young looks on Monday after asking a question that led Hillary Clinton to tears.

(CNN) – Many political observers are crediting Democrat Hillary Clinton's surprise win in New Hampshire to the New York senator's rare display of emotion at a Portsmouth Coffee shop Monday morning.

But Clinton's tearful moment failed to win at least one Granite State voter - the very woman who prompted her response in the first place.

Marianne Pernold-Young told CNN Wednesday she ultimately picked Barack Obama in Tuesday night's primary because of the Illinois senator's performance at a recent rally she attended.

"I was moved to tears. Not once, but twice," she said. "And he has this enormous electricity. And I was just taken aback. And I just had to go with my feelings." (Video: Young speaks on American Morning)

On Monday, Young asked Clinton how she was holding up under the rigors of a presidential campaign - an inquiry that cause the presidential candidate's eyes to well up and voice to tremble.

"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," a teary Clinton said. "You know, I have so many opportunities from this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards." (Video: Clinton gets emotional)

The moment instantly became the most-covered event on the campaign trail on the day before the critical New Hampshire primary, drawing praise from some who said Clinton had finally bared her true self to voters. The next day, Clinton won among voters who said a candidate who "cares about people" is most important (a category John Edwards won in Iowa.)

Young told CNN she herself was touched by the event, though it was not enough to convince her to support Clinton.

"I was very touched and I was totally in awe that she would open up to us, all of us there," Young said. "But it was a delicate matter."

On CNN's American Morning, Clinton wouldn't speculate whether the moment had put her over the top in the Granite State the night before, but said, "I'm really glad that I had a chance to say what I believe with all of my heart, that politics isn't a game, it's not a horse race. It's about people's lives." (Video: Hillary Clinton on American Morning)

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (816 Responses)
  1. Pam Everett, WA

    Having been in business for 24 years and those years spent having 2 kids, gone through a divorce and covering Canada and the US, I can personally say that sometimes things are just very tough for anyone to handle. If Hilary looked emotional, well, all I can say is she's been through more trials by fire than any of the rest of us – mine included, since I've never been on the national stage.

    Do I question her judgment – not at all. Do I know where's she been – I haven't walked in her shoes.

    However I do know one thing, she has kept her focus on the future, despite whatever critiques have been hailed down upon her. She has kept her chin up and stood by her word and her voting record. No backsliding for this Senator. If all of you can look in the mirror and say that you have done the same, good for you. However, I can bet that most cannot be honest with themselves.

    Pam in Everett, WA

    January 10, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  2. Will

    Manlia wrote:

    "Marianne, Barack moved you to tears twice and Hillary hardly? Come now, it's whammy of a shame that the more Barack Obama took you to tears than Hillary could was all that made you decide to vote for him in NH."

    The real shame is that some women voted for Hillary out of sympathy because they saw HER cry on television, and then told exit pollsters and the media about it.

    I would much rather vote for a candidate whose ideas of hope, unity and integrity make me cry than vote for someone because I felt sorry for them.

    January 10, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  3. scoot

    Everyone is up in arms about these tears.

    I would cry too if I were in her place. Just think of how they got the country and how they left the country. They were left BILLIONS of dollars in debt from king George l. Bill paid for that party and left a surplus for the next president. What do we have now. The "city on the hill" is divided, broke, and spread too thin with the drum beating to go into Iran. Those tears weren't of an emotional woman, but a woman who knows that all their hard work for 8 years was basically for not.

    January 10, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  4. carmen

    I noticed the press had tried to help Clinton by given her prime coverage and picked her best photo shots during the crucial moments during curial moments before NH. Clinton's acting was very fake to me, purely for deliberately displaying her 'passion'. She is a good actor, knows what clicks. Using 'passion' would do it. She is after fame and her personal achievements. Don't be fooled, people!!!
    Do we want another 'Clinton family' again, this time two Clinton presidents. What kind of change is that?

    January 10, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  5. Rudy G.

    Since when does sharing a bed with someone who has experience equal having experience yourself? Hillary Clinton has the experience of seven years in the Senate, but that's it! Why are our top three candidates political neophytes while people with real experience (Biden, Dodd, and Richardson) are shoved aside?

    January 10, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  6. Andante D.

    Don't worry Hillary will cry during important international events. That little act of chocking up was nothing but a fake act to get your sympathy, to show she does have emotions. This woman is tough, clever and conniving, devious, will do anything for fame and her personal ambition. It's dangerous to have two Clintons in the White House.

    January 10, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  7. usyankee

    Her 'tears' were absolutely staged. She always resorts to female tactics when she's losing (they're picking on me, obsessed with me, etc).

    And as for the body language they are studying on her? Can absolutely be staged.

    One can learn the correct body language for job interviews (holding your hands with the tips of your fingers together in the shape of a steeple, making eye contact, etc), to portray confidence, sincerity, etc. so definitely she could learn body language to portray something she is NOT really feeling. She's grasping at straws. Let's see, voted for the war, never coming out admitting she was wrong (at least John Edwards admitted he was wrong), stealing Obama's "change" slogan not working, accusing them of picking on me, not working, hmm.... let's get more females votes...boo hoo poor me I really care for you...it's personal...

    This is one woman who listens to the issues and not the boo hoos of a women who's losing a fight, whether it's with her husband, or the country...

    January 10, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  8. Jake, California

    Steve Wesong,

    I am a pure African...not African American but people like you are some of the most bewildering human beings I have seen on this Earth. You people have been slaves in this country and subject to all sorts of miss treatment. You get the chance to have someone who can represent you and help boast your image but you turn your back on them like this. Obama has been approved by a lot of white people as capable of running this country as seen by his performance in Iowa a 95% white state and NH a 96% white state....why do you object to that. why do you stab him in the back.? what are you looking for?

    dont you know that your sons and daughters will have more confidence hearing of an African American president...?

    I am not saying support Obama only because he is black. I am say he is qualified to rule this country. As a result, you should use that opportunity to also improve your broken image in this country....

    January 10, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  9. louisfatty

    I couldn't agree more with the poster "Randal." Being swayed by a candidate's performance during a rally? Come on!?! There are countless examples of great orator/persuaders throughout history that were better speakers than genuine leaders; PT Barnum, Tony Robbins, Hitler, etc. Geez, I liked hearing what few words Jerry Garcia had to say during some concerts I saw, but I'm not going to give him my vote for President as a result. Think, people, think. All that being said, personally, I support Obama, but not based on any soap box presentation given at a political rally.

    January 10, 2008 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I think we've all missed the whole issue for Hillary's "tears". She was dreading the fact that Nancy P.(Speaker of the House) would be her boss if she doesn't win and a win for her would reverse the table, she would be Nancy's boss. I bet if we dug far enough we would find there is no love lost between the two and that Hillary has never supported Nancy. Hillary wants to be top dog or nothing and nothing means she will abort Washington altogether if she doesn't win. Being on a job and someone that you know and so dislike now becomes your boss is your worst nightmare, now you begin to cry in desperation at the thought of what to do next. Women voters, think about it, because Hillary cannot and will not change life for you while you're crying about the boss you have. Think about it.

    January 10, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  11. Angela

    Marianne is an idiot.
    First she faults Hillary for getting emotional and then picks her rival because he made HER emotional – twice! And she thinks she's being logical!
    what the hell??
    A leader who appeals to our emotions effectively puts a ring through our noses and then we can be lead anywhere.
    .Bush did it with lies(Iraq)and fear(the mysterious anthrax thing).
    Remember how we were all led right down the garden path and right into a long expensive and deadly war because we thought that Bush was a good ole boy just like us?? Well that's what Obama's doing.
    As these blogs are suggesting, most people do not know how to process information and are relying on the media to make up their minds for them with misleading headlines and imbalanced coverage of the candidates.
    Think, think, think America and stop listening to the cheap shots the media is using to distract you from the issues.
    A leader who gets emotional is human and passionate, a leader who reduces you to tears is manipulative and dangerous.
    We picked the wrong guy to run this country for 8 years and now we are running the risk of doing it again. We can't afford another mistake like that.

    Go Hillary Go!!

    January 10, 2008 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  12. Mike

    Is Bill Clinton Calling the American Dream a Fairy Tale?

    Any significant progress in this country has been the result of Americans working hard to achieve their dreams. The definition of the American dream has always implied men and women in the face of adversity, braving obstacles to make their dreams come through. If Bill Clinton is calling Barack Obama's bringing hope to those American men and women a fairy tale, then him and Hilary Clinton are certainly not for change. Therefore, they are either contradicting themselves and their slogan for change or they are trying hard to deceive the American people. The American people should not be taken for granted. They deserve respect and honesty, which Barack Obama has consistently demonstrated throughout this campaign. Barack Obama has brought hope to generations of Americans regardless of their background(s) through his bipartisan policy proposals for change and a positively refreshing view on politics in general. People need a clear definition of who is running for president and what they stand for. The question to the Clinton campaign is: who is really running for president? Is it Bill or Hilary Clinton? Or are we in for a Clinton Dynasty? If yes, what do they stand for? Absolute power or real change?.

    January 10, 2008 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  13. Dave

    What a horrible stereotype for our possible first female president to perpetuate! These choreographed tears may have purchased a short term victory, but at the potential cost of re-enforcing the woman=weak myth that could/will keep many from voting for her in November. The real beneficiary is the other party.

    January 10, 2008 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  14. Lawrence

    I sincerely hope that her tears wouldn't sway a vote in any direction. I would like to think that with everything this country and world has been through in the last eight years that by the time the primary reached your state that you would've made up you mind.

    I hope that her fake tears, and I believe they where fake, wasn't the reason that she won NH even though the polls suggested she wouldn't. I'd rather think that the polls where just wrong or closed too soon.

    As for the right canidate, I hope that every American can see that the way politcs is working in this country is wrong. Think about all of the in class, in work, or casual debates that have pitted the blue vs the red, or the dems vs the repubs, or the libs vs the conservs, that ended with no soltuions only more divsion.

    Barack, talks about uniting the United States, about it being one country. I don't want to live in a world where once my political views come out I've created eneimes, and I'm tired of feeling hatred towards the other major political party in MY COUNTRY.

    Want's next Secterian Violence?

    It's time to Unite, and Barack wants to Unite.

    Hill just wants it her way, or the blue way, and even though I am Liberal and Mostly a Democrat, I understand the importance of compromise, I believe Barack understands this too.

    For example if Hill gets Universal Health Care in a way that takes profit away from the Insurance company, the rich guys, (even though I will Benefit) Understand that the Insurance Companies, and lobbist for their industry will do everything they can to change that in the next election. So maybe our universal healthcare onlt exist for four years.

    If Barack gets Health Care for those who don't have it, but still allows the Insurance Compaines to keep some of their profit, then this is a plan that is good for both sides, just not my side, we can't be greedy or selfish if we want this country to work, again it's called compromise.

    If that compromise can roll over into foriegn policy, maybe we won't need to worry about being safe, beacuse no country, faction, or idealogy will have a problem with us.

    January 10, 2008 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  15. Angela

    How much international experience did George Bush had before he got himself in the White House?

    January 10, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  16. kgdexter

    In my entire life as a US citizen, this is the first time I have been truly excited about an election. Insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting a different outcome, and what people are calling "experience" here is just more of the "same old same old" .Change means something entirely new and different, and as so much of our world seems to be crumbling around us, change is long overdue. Do not discount the power of words. The words of the constitution enspired the birth of an entirely new kind of nation, and the words of powerful speakers can inspire people to believe in the improbable and motivate them to reach for the stars. Thank you Mr. Obama for offering a glimmer of hope!

    January 10, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  17. brian

    Are white people stupid, you are voting for a black president that
    is a muslim and will do nothing for any white middle class kids.

    January 10, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  18. D-PLUM

    I think the tears were real. Just as real as they'll be when the going gets REALLY tough if she makes it to the White House. I think HRC is a sharp lady... but Obama has what it takes to lead this country.

    We've had and seen enough of the Bush-Clinton admins... time for something NEW!

    Get on with the show, and vote for "O!" ;-)

    January 10, 2008 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  19. RG

    If Obama wins the Democrat nomination? I'm Voting Republican! Don't need another President that doesn't know what he's doing! Clinton is the only choice to get America back where it was in the 90's. Cheap Taxes, Cheap Gas and a Cheap cost of living. You say save the world? I say lets concentrate on saving America and let everybody else worry about saving themselves! Let's fix the country we all love! And no Mr. Bush im not talking about the middle east (you can't fix that!) I'm talking about the USA!!!

    January 10, 2008 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  20. Chris in Va.

    I have read several references to Brittney Spears on this blog. It's truly a sad day in Mudville when that bubble-headed waste of perfectly good O2 is mentioned here. God help us all.

    January 10, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  21. rls38849

    You have to vote for the one you feel will do the best job

    January 10, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  22. Greetings From Asia

    Ultimately I think Hillary is the candidate who can contribute the most not only to the US but to other countries around the world as well. I've read her autobiography and sincerely believe what she stands for is right for America and the world.

    But I would also hope Obama could run for Vice President along her. Hillary-Obama combo would be the strongest President and Vice President candidates in American history.

    The order is not important. I would like to see them become President, one after the other.

    January 10, 2008 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  23. Maylyn L. San Francisco

    Don't worry, that little act of tearing was simply acting to get votes. She is tough and crafty, knows how to act to get what she wants, can't be trusted.

    January 10, 2008 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  24. Mark R. / Bonn, Northhein-Westfalia, Germany

    Well, I see that the Clinton hate-festival is in full swing again.

    First, it was the same pollsters who questioned the republican side simultaneously. Why were the polls on the DEM side so wrong but on the REP side so right?

    Second, you can't have it both ways. Either she will be criticized for being now human enough, and then when she shows her emotions, she gets railed on. So, it is proof that most of the posters here are nothing more than partisan hacks who utterly hate Hillary Clinton and are terrified that she will win.

    And I have become an Obama supporter, but would never trash the woman the way most of you are.

    And for those republicans out there enjoying this moment, clean your own house. This is the most miserable slate of GOP candidates that I have seen in 32 years. Every single one of those candidates is far more flawed than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and after the lies of Iraq, I am more willing to trust a DEM than a republican these days.

    January 10, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  25. edgarjay

    I'm flabbergasted that the staged tears and crackling voice didn't damage her in the polls. I thought that even Hillary supporters would realize what a cheap political device it was, but I was obviously wrong. Really? Hillary cried because someone asked her "how she manages to be so wonderful"? Really? I can't help but think that this the result of racism toward Obama from a homogeneously white demographic that finally happened to find a reason to like Hillary that they could rationalize. Come on? Hillary cried for the 1st time just before a primary due to a totally banal non-political question. If the question was in regards to the thousands of valiant young American troops that died due to the misguided occupation of Iraq, maybe I'd believe that her emotions overwhelmed her affectations, but the context of her newfound emotional sincerity is beyond belief. I personally hope that the pre-primary polls were the reason for the upset, as they likely brought about complacency in the Obama base due to the wide margin in which his victory was predicted. I can at least understand that without again (think: last two elections) loosing all faith in the American people's ability to smell BS when it's this thick. Thankfully, if indeed this emotional ploy was the cause of her campaign's revitalization, it isn't a trick that can be played for every major contest... or so I hope.

    January 10, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
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