October 3rd, 2007
04:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton tackles 'The Cackle'

On Wednesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton addressed recent media scrutiny of her laughter.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton used the occasion of Wednesday’s endorsement announcement from the American Federation of Teachers to take a light-hearted crack at the New York Times over what the paper has dubbed "The Clinton Cackle."

"I don't want to go on too much longer, because it might cause me to laugh, and then you know, heaven knows what we'd hear about for the next week," she said at the conclusion of her acceptance speech to the laughter of both the AFT members and media present.

Earlier this week, the Times published a 962-word piece analyzing the New York senator’s use of laughter during interviews and debates. The article suggested different motivations for different uses of “The Cackle,” which the paper said was a term coined by Clinton’s friends.

"You gotta have a sense of humor in this business we're in," she concluded.

- CNN Assignment Editor Katy Byron

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Joe Brooklyn

    The DLC democrats are trying to get their way by foisting a "centerist" upon us. In order to "unite-us" against the Republicans they are attempting to create a "speak no-ill" policy for Hillary Clinton as the GOP did for their party for so many years.

    I don't accept that the Hillary and other GOP-lite Democrats should be above criticism. I don't consider myself to be a "liberal" on any issue but the war – an issue on which 70% of Americans agree with me - and I am only consider a liberal on that issue because I was right about the war before it began.

    I am first and foremost a "values" voter. My foremost value is a strict adherence to the rule of law as well as to the spirit it was written in. I believe that this administration does not act in good faith when it comes to its interpretation of the law and of its powers, not to mention reason and judgement.

    If the government can not act in good faith with the law than it cannot act in good faith towards that which the law governs and protects – the American people. Acting against the interests of the American people by discarding and manipulating the law is criminal and immoral.

    When I hear Democrats like Hillary imply that they wish to employ a pragmatic solution they are saying that they do not consider the actions of this Bush regime to be either immoral or illegal or else they would call it that and work to stop it.

    The pitch of Hillary's laugh is not the issue. The issue is the service to which she puts it in covering up her complicity and stupidity in providing cover for this administrations war(s?).
    I apologize for the length.

    October 4, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. MadMax, Sugar Land, TX

    I can't believe how childish and petty most of these comments are ... I expect it from the media always trying to make news out of nothing ... but geese .. shouldnt you people be focusing on policy instead of a person's laugh! I'm sure some of you are snorters! ... lol

    October 4, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. John, Studio City, CA

    Interesting how our mainstream media so quickly adopts Republican talking points. Hillary's laugh becomes a "cackle." Who cackles? Why witches and hens cackle, don't they? This is straight out of Frank Luntz's world. CNN always so quick parrot the GOP.

    October 4, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Jim R, Northampton, MA

    The cackle is news because she used it to deflect questions she didn't want to answer. If Bush had done that, people who oppose Bush (like me) would certainly call him on it. Well, you should call Hillary on it, too.

    October 4, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Jim R, Northampton, MA

    I don't know about all states, but yes, in Massachusetts, you can switch party affiliations for a day to vote in the primary for the candidate of your choice. I've done it.

    October 4, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Glenn

    Don't look now, Ronnie from Knoxvillne, TN...but you're the one sounding angry. And tell me, why is a woman overly ambitious when she goes for the highest office in the land?

    October 4, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. Elsa, Fountain Valley, CA

    Get serious – who care how they laugh or what they pay for a haircut. I am more interested in hearing about their proposed ideas and policies. Are there any good journalist left in this world?

    October 4, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. Debi, Philadelphia

    How is it that a position statement gets page 10, paragraph 20, and a cackle gets so much coverage that every person in America hears something about it?

    October 4, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. Horton Whoville

    Social Socialist Yes I am
    Give the poor Green Eggs and Ham
    Tax – Tax – Tax and Spend
    Need a hand-out? I'm your friend

    October 4, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. kkuate, Glendale Arizona

    Hillary has more character and integrity in just one cackle than McCain, Romney, and Giuliani combined. These three bums are part of the "bomb Iran" and "twice Guantanamo" Bush loyalists crowd.

    October 4, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. millie hepburn, northumberland, pa

    Go Hillary–last I knew, laughter was not illegal...to those who spend hours analyzing her–forget it–she already outsmarted you, and you are simply jealous...
    Someone today said take away women's right to vote and no women president–well take away men's vote (by the way the new minority) and we will not see war, stupid decisions, and we might all actually learn how to work together! Being female, smart and savvy is only unpopular because men don't know how to respond. My suggestion to these men–listen- you might learn something!

    October 4, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. millie hepburn, northumberland, pa

    Laugh Hillary–you are smarter than the others! they are afraid of your confidence–

    October 4, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. Jim Hasinger, California

    This has got to be Stupid Non-Story of the Week. Surprise! People who don't like Hillary find her laugh... sinister, or raucous, or... something. I thought a laugh in the face was the only thing that Chris Walllace's ridiculous question deserved. If people weren't getting on Hillary for laughing to much, they'd say she was too serious. Please talk about something real.

    October 4, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  14. eLadinMo, KCMO

    He/She who cackles last, cackles loudest.

    October 4, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  15. Mike, Christmas, FL

    As is evident by this subject matter, corporate media has become worse than worthless - it's a downright menace to our democracy. Pressure your representatives to pass laws to break up the media conglomerates like we did to Standard Oil. Hopefully, we can then put the kid journalists to bed and let the adults have a real discussion about real issues concerning our national life. I have a dream ...

    October 4, 2007 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  16. OxyCon, Philadelphia PA

    "Cacklers" aren't fit to be President!

    What we need is a guy that we want to have a beer with, especially a guy who was drunk and high on cocaine for 30 years straight. It's worked out so well for us these past 7 years.

    October 4, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  17. johnmcalpin

    First, she cackled to avoid answering a question. Second, the media make the damned cackle the issue, not the avoidance. No wonder she can laugh! She is the favorite of the totally owned and controlled media. Owned and controlled by enemies of humanity. If she becomes president, there vwill be no discernable change in our foreign policy, and little, if any, in our domestic programs. The Goldwater Girl has all the bad and none of the good qualities of old Barry.

    October 5, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  18. Prairie Dog, Champaign, IL

    Does H.Clinton really laugh THAT much? The only example I saw was in response to Chris Wallace's ridiculous question on Fox Propaganda that deserved a sarcastic laugh though I didn't see what she did with it after the laugh.

    October 5, 2007 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  19. Jennifer - Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Obama's attitude about wearing a simple thing like an American pin is scary......now I'm sure I won't be voting for him....no way!

    October 5, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Taylor Mullaly, Elk City, Oklahoma

    What troubles me most is people dont remember her telling lies and commiting crimes while her husband was in office. Is the first woman president going to be a crook like Nixon. I wish just for once we could have a real canidate. I dont care which party they come from. I just want one that doesnt lie to us anymore. What is wrong with us we now vote for the one who we think is the best of the worst. Come on people do we really want anymore lies and deceptions from either party. If I spelled something wrong its because I have less than a 12th grade education. I make more than most because I am honest and smart. And I do remember all of her so called indescetions which is a good word for being dishonest. Please America. Start reading and believing that we are the best nation in the world and we have done some rotten things in the world and we need to stop. We dont need to elect another person who will get on TV and placate us with want we want to hear. We need someone who will tell us the truth about what we have done in this world of ours and how to undo the bad and carry on with the good. Lets be more honest than the canidates that are running. They are always fighting about this or that to keep our focus off the real issue and that is that our govenment stinks and we need to fix it. Why do they fight like little kids. To make us fight like little children too. Lets get real. Because they dont seem to be able too. Thanks if you read this. Oh and as far as the media goes. Its just entertainment just like everything else on TV. thats pretty easy to figure out dont you think?

    October 5, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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