December 18th, 2007
05:50 AM ET
14 years ago

Clinton gets emotional

The Clinton campaign is aiming to show a softer side of the New York senator.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton got visibly emotional at an Iowa campaign event Monday morning designed to showcase a softer side of the New York senator.

Flanked by childhood friends and constituents who each offered testimonials on the Democratic presidential candidate, a glassy-eyed Clinton spoke noticeably softer than most past appearances on the stump.

"It is very exciting for me to have so many of my friends from my entire life who have come out here, to talk with Iowans, to answer questions, to give you some insight and information about our relationships, about what I've been trying to do my entire life, and particularly as an adult," Clinton said at a campaign event in Johnston, Iowa Monday.

"What I try to do every day is figure out how to help somebody,” she said later in the event. “You can try to help somebody every single day, and I’ve tried to do that as a public servant, as an activist, and now as a senator."

The event coincides with a new campaign Web site - - that includes videos for several friends, colleagues, and constituents of Clinton's speaking on her behalf.

The event and Web site are all part of an effort to convey a softer image of Clinton, as polls continue to indicate Democratic primary voters view her as less likeable and more like a "typical politician" than her chief rival, Barack Obama.

A spokesperson told CNN the site will help round out what caucus-goers don’t know about Clinton. “You want voters to have the fullest portrait of your candidate possible when Election Day comes around and that’s what you’re seeing us doing right now.”

The surrogates from the Web site will be fanning out across Iowa and telling their stories over the next three days on Clinton's "Every Caucus Counts Tour."

Earlier: Clinton campaigns with mother, daughter

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (477 Responses)
  1. Robert

    What a load of crap!

    December 17, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. Bill,ca

    wow, now you have lost my vote. I don't what a candidate who want sympathy to be voted for. I think I would love to see a woman president but not this one. Kinda wondering what is up with all these swings!

    December 17, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    This warms the cockles of my heart.

    But I'm still for John Edwards–he shows enthusiasm, emotion, and heartfelt concern–without staging, or rehearsals. Great try!!!

    December 17, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Matthew Sutton, Central Point, Oregon

    The Hillary we know is the one running the attack dog negative campaign.

    December 17, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Steve, Portland, OR

    Hmmm. Not only Bill and daughter as well as mother are campaigning for you, now we have your friends as well. I afraid that even with this touch of "the soft side" many of us feel your an "iron maiden" thats not listening to the American citizen in this our hour of need. Why does it take the possible failure of your campaign for you to "get it". We are sick of politicians telling us how it will be. Your supposed to listen to your constituents on how it should be. Something you seem to have a very difficult time doing.

    December 17, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    Crocodile tears, anyone?

    December 17, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. ron,ct

    Hillary Clinton cares only about one thing: becoming president. And she will gladly change her position, her principles, even her name (the Rodham is gone) to get there. There is a reason every Republican asked uses the same adjective to describe her: "formidable." There is no one they would rather face.

    December 17, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Vicky,nyc,ny

    Everything I find despicable about President Bush-Cheney I find equally so in Hillary. To mention only three points:

    Like Bush-Cheney, Hillary is a viciously polarizing and divisive person, to the citizens at large as well as to non-Democrats (and even to innumerable Democrats), at a time when America needs a unifying leader who can work with both parties.

    Like Bush-Cheney, Hillary has a proven record of secrecy, lies, and prevarication, based on both their natural character and their determination to put partisanship above all else, even the needs of America.

    Like Bush-Cheney, Hillary is totally in the pockets of Corporate America, lobbyists, and special interest groups, more than any other candidate, and in the end will always put corporations ahead of the people.

    Her claim of "experience" is even more phony than she is. Actually, there is little "job training" available for killer job of being POTUS. The quality of one's intelligence [beyond mere political cunning] and the quality of one's character are of the most crucial importance. And it is bizarrely amusing that she can even mention the word “change” in reference to herself. Hillary is, above all, the same same old same old old.

    December 17, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Tim

    HRC, or Hillary Clinton, can she even make up her mind on her real name. She is supposedly for immigration reform, but voted to kill it. Is she for or against Drivers licenses for illegal immigrants? That depends on the minute. Health Care reform, you want the Federal government running it? She wants you to have the Senates health care, the most gold-plated package known to man. Education Reform? Let the unions run your schools, oh yeah they are incompetent, we trail all industrialized nations in grades K-12 education. Education Unions want to dumb down education. Education schools don't teach math and science to their future teachers. As a math tutor I was helping these future teachers pass 8th grade level math courses. Energy reform, Hillary fights all efforts to expand energy mining, and efforts to build new nuclear and coal plants. Nuclear plants don't produce carbon emissions, new coal plants use the most abundant form of energy available to America, and these new plants are way cleaner than all other carbon based plants in existence.

    December 17, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Jen, Cedar Falls, IA

    Oh Pulleeez! Get me a tissue! This belongs on the Comedy Channel – oh wait, then perhaps she could get an Oscar for it. Then hopefully go away with her husband...they've had their time, it's time for our country to moooovvvveeee on with its leadership!

    December 17, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Ca Native

    Hillary starts losing support among women – she starts campaigning with her mom and daughter.

    Hillary is viewed to cold and harsh.. she cries at a campaign event.

    Next... we'll see Bill biting his lip as he holds back tears because of "the chilllllldren"??

    Clinton Fatigue!

    December 17, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Michael Columbus, IN

    she is so calculated...even in her emotions. how can one be so cold and brash to coordinate a campaign event to show the softer side.

    didn't jcpenny try advertising the softer side???? that didn't work either.

    neither will this.

    December 17, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Robert Bell, Brunswick, Georgia

    I would fall for this sort of thing, except that the CLinton campaign telegraphed that this is exactly what they were planning on doing – showing the softer side of Hillary, in a campaign swing through Iowa on her "Hilly copter".

    No, I kid you not, that was the latest big idea from highly paid political consultants – "Hilly Copter". I feel sorry for people who contributed to the campaign and had their money wasted on that.

    So Hillary crying is not real, it is another faked-up campaign deal. And I know this because the campaign told us they were going to do this a week ago.

    It's like Al Gore or John Kerry all over again. She's not going to figure out that she just has to be HERSELF until it is too late.

    People can tell from 100 yards away when it is an act and when it is real. And Hillary comes off as an act.

    Which is too bad.

    December 17, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. THATS MY BOY SAM, Houston TX

    "The event and Web site are all part of an effort to convey a softer image of Clinton, as polls continue to indicate Democratic primary voters view her as less likeable and more like a "typical politician" than her chief rival, Barack Obama."

    Now, I realize the cynicism involved in reaching this conclusion, but I think that such levels of cynicism are not only acceptable, but necessary, when dealing and interpreting modern day politics and the "coverage" of such politics.

    Her campaign theme for the day is to show a softer side of her and on that very day we see her become emotional for the first time ever? Now, I'm not a clinton hater – i was and still am a big supporter of the original clinton administration, but this is just too much. I mean really, when she went through all the turmoil related to her husband's philandering she didnt break a tear or a sweat, but on "softer hillary day" – out come the waterworks.

    Sorry, this voter simply isn't buying it. And if anyone wants to criticize me for being insensitive please be my guest, but you're only fooling yourself if you have a less cynical outlook on today's politics/political candidates.

    Except, of course, for my boy Barack Obama.

    OBAMA '08

    December 17, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. bobby

    The voters have to face the reality that an uncomfortably high number of fanatical and unstable individuals have the very deepest hatred for the former first lady.

    December 17, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Lisa H., Ann Arbor, MI

    I try to not fall for the media-spin on this stuff, but I can't help but think the whole "visibly emotional" thing is just a charade. If her campaign managers told her to be firm and stoic, then that's exactly what we'd see. I want a politician who is genuine and authentic. For me, that person is Obama.

    December 17, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. faith

    i think George Bush inspires more hatred than Hillary Clinton but he keeps on at it. Maybe we need to make the rightwing face its demons by voting her into office. President Ford was unsuccessful for other reasons than the attempt on his life. Reagan had an assassination attempt on him too and he's thought be many to have been a good president.

    December 17, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Tim, Cincinnati, OH

    I find it hard to believe that those were real tears. Does this woman have an authentic bone in her body?

    December 17, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Frank Mayans, Los Angeles

    She is human and has a heart. I dislike the way how many portray her to be some type of devil or something.

    December 17, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Jimenez

    We love you Hillary. Don't let the haters get to you. You have support from so many, women and men of every race are behind you.

    December 17, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    These first 8 posts show how misinformed and judgmental Americans are. They know little other than what they hear on talk radio or read in the news media – most of which is not accurate and a lot of which is not true.

    Hillary is only as divisive as the media have made her to be. Maybe if you know-it-alls that have such knowledge of her real personality would listen to what people that actually do know her, you might learn something.

    But, I realize that requires an open mind – of which you are lacking. And, that you are not interested in knowing the truth. Your interest is believing what you want to believe.

    You reveal your stupidity with every word you post.

    December 17, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Frank Mayans, Los Angeles CA

    I wish people could really look into her eyes and say "Wow, this women has fought for Children her whole life"

    December 17, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. John NC

    She is a typical politician.

    December 17, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. rdierker

    I think I figured out who that "somebody" is that she tries to help every day...Its herself. That poor poor woman Hillary Clinton who needs all the help she can get to not look so disingenuous, I really feel for her. NOT! Who exactly was she helping when she took 100,000$ in bribes from insurance company lobbyist. Can anyone say "failed health care plan" To think of all the people that could have been helped if Hillary didn't sell health care down the river 14 years ago

    December 17, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Brent, Fairfax, VA

    BARF!!!!!!! Designed to appeal to morons.

    December 17, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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