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. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Yes, I know it hurts Hillary. Spending most of your life in public service, starting out on top (due to your connection w/ Bill Clinton), but keep seeing your poll numbers going down, it gotta hurt. And worse, losing to a young guy – who you think are 'naive and inexperience', not some 'experienced' guy like Joe Biden, it gotta hurt.

    The mood of the country has changed. After so much beating from 'Bush' and seeing our own country falling apart, we want a 'uniter'. How can you unite the country when you keep attacking Bush and the Republicans? What's the use of attacking Bush – he's not running anymore. What's the use of attacking Republicans – you will have to work with them. I am also concerned with your response to the Iran situation. You said the reason you label them 'terrorists' is you want to increase diplomacy. How does that work? Anyone who gives a response like that, I probably said – 'Are you crazy? Are you insane? Can you think logically?

    I usually don't attack people like this, but if you are thinking of leading this country, I have to raise these questions. Yes, your vote for Iran speaks volumes about your diplomatic skills and your understanding of foreign countries and how to deal with them. It has nothing to do with you being a woman. It's about you making poor decisions, and we have plenty of that from Bush.

    December 18, 2007 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  2. jenna jonz

    The wife of the former impeached president's problem isn't that we don't know her. It's that we know her all too well!

    December 18, 2007 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  3. rdierker

    Presidents can't cry!... not unless another president has died, that's the ONLY reason why!
    You can't cry for wanting to help people. You're going to have to do that everyday and not brag about it when you're president. What's gonna happen when Hillary meets with these foreign dictators, whom she said that she would meet with (before attacking Obama for saying the same exact thing), and she doesn't get her way? Is Hillary going to solve the problem and appease the nation by crying about it?

    December 18, 2007 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  4. Rocky N. Roll

    "What I try to do every day is figure out how to help somebody,” she says... "somebody" meaning herself and herself alone. We "commoners" see right through this phony, pathetic, shameless, desperate attempt to "win" by any means (Clinton playbook: If bloated self-aggrandizement doesn't work, move on to baseless attacks and whisper campaigns agains opponents, and if that fails, try the pity card or self-humiliation). "The most enjoyable aspect of watching the HMS Hillary take on water is the prospect that Bill - and his cult of personality - will go down with the ship too." (see,0,1234120,print.column?coll=la-util-opinion-commentary)

    December 18, 2007 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  5. callie jones, san diego, ca

    I think mrs. clinton is 'crying' because she knows the first domino is falling in her failing campaign. For those who wonder about her 8 yrs. experience, go to bill clinton's autobiography where he gives her credit for NOTHING! I wonder why? And, can anyone tell me one thing, just one thing she has done 'for the children'? What children? She's campaigning on the same stuff he did. She has a nerve still promising universal health care. You'd think the words would choke her coming out of her lying mouth.

    December 18, 2007 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  6. Julie, Peoria IL

    The comments I am reading in this post are beyond insensitive. How can you all say such horrible things about a woman you've never even met? Do you know Hillary? Do you know that she was pretending to feel touched by her friends kind words as a political ploy? Unless you do know Hillary and can personally vouch for the fact that she is all of these evil things you all say she is, please take a minute and put yourself in her shoes, or Barack's shoes, or any politicians shoes for that matter. How would you feel if people you had never met were saying horrible things about you?

    People knock Hillary for reasons they are unsure of just to knock her without any substantiated evidence. At least consider the fact that she is human and as much as the media portrays her as a so called "ice queen" she has feelings. Please consider the hateful things you say about people you don't know before you post them.

    December 18, 2007 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  7. Jaik , chicago, IL

    Ah she demonstrates her technique. big deal. CN will do anything for this woman. But she can't beat a GOP canidate no matter what they do.

    December 18, 2007 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  8. Mick Russom

    Ron Paul 2008. She is crying for the country she intends on destroying with out of control spending and the continued destruction of the dollar and her intention on continuing the war

    December 18, 2007 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  9. Lindsay, Detroit MI

    Since when did America become so critical? We're not watching gossip shows about celebrities, this is CNN about the political race. I just hope that people have the same strong opinions about the politics in their State, County, and City. Everything makes a difference. We are not electing a monster, but a leader of the "United States" of America.

    December 18, 2007 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  10. Ross Lippincott; Davenport Iowa.

    I can't imagine Hillary would be under this intense scrutiny is she were not a woman. Her legs, her laugh, her hair, her makeup. She is not liked because of one fact and that is because she is a woman trying to run for the most powerful office in the world. People would be called bigots and banned from speaking publicly ever again if Obama were scrutinized because of his race. I could respect people alot more if they just came right out and said they personally don't want a woman in the White House instead of launching criticism about everything the woman does.

    If she blew her nose in public people would say that she is trying to make people think she is sick to get sympathy votes. Why can't people just give her credit for BEING A POLITICIAN. A politician is a job. It's not easy. It's hard and like it or not it's a very nasty dirty business. Some people really make me think that they believe politicians are planting flowers in a nursery.

    Give Hillary a fair shake sheesh!


    Posted By HILLARYLOVER, NY, NY : December 17, 2007 4:55 pm

    Put the crack pipe down and back away slowly.

    December 18, 2007 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  11. Sam, IA

    I have only to read a few of these plavlovs dog's posts to know why America is in trouble.
    A true show of emotion is met with disdain and increduality for no other reason than that you have been trained to hate. No other reason. No other explanation. I don't support Hillary Clinton but the venomous posts on this blog are a symptom of everything bad about our country. Pass the koolaid.

    December 18, 2007 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  12. Bob B., Louisville, Ky.

    Many challenges in a campaign but to try to make Hillary appear human is an almost impossible task.

    December 18, 2007 04:33 am at 4:33 am |

    Give me a break. She is a good actor.

    December 18, 2007 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  14. Ryan, Indiana PA

    You people against Hillary don't like someone who cares you're the monsters. John Edwards can't even make Dick Cheney look bad, he lost his chance.

    December 18, 2007 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  15. Eric, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

    The only reason she wants to be President is to help you, so quit being so negative.

    December 18, 2007 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  16. Mark wilkes barre pa

    She can try to look softer and nicer ,but we all know those were not tears it was melt off of the ICE QUEEN

    December 18, 2007 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  17. Sally, Cary NC

    I bet the mother was a plant.

    December 18, 2007 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  18. Matthew, Boston, MA

    I don't particularly care for Hilary, but i respect what she has done over the years, especially her work behind the scenes during her husband's term. However I must say that being over-emotional in the public's eye will do more to hurt her campaign than to help it. I'm not speaking of my own beliefs, but one of the major reasons some US citizens oppose a woman commander and chief is the question of whether they will be emotionally stable enough to run a country. On a personal note, I believe this country's leader has shown enough weakness in the past eight years. Im ready for somebody who is tough on the big issues, not somebody with a sob story. I would rather see a leader let out a rebel yell than cry at the podium, but that's just me. Dry your eye Hillary.

    December 18, 2007 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  19. Joel S. Toccoa, GA

    Oh Please. She is ridiculous.

    December 18, 2007 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  20. jfz, Napa, CA

    I'm in tears and showing a softer side just thinking about the possibility of Hillary Clinton being president. What a pile!!!

    December 18, 2007 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  21. bablan

    most of the Obamamaniacs and Republicans on this comment board are simply idiots. Here is the first viable female candidate, and the last thing she would do strategically is to let anyone see her cry because inevitably for a woman, that equals weakness. Now you're accusing her of crocodile tears even if tears counter her own strategy. The Double Standards for women never ever stop. If Obama, Rudy teared up, we'd all go – awww, how warm and fuzzy. A woman cries and she's weak of contrived. Certainly this campaign is making me see all the sexism rear its ugly head (from men and women alike).

    December 18, 2007 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  22. Fedup

    I choke up every time I think it is possible that this immoral pair might once again sully the reputation of our country and White House with their gimme attitude and actions. Anyone, anyone, anyone but them. It is time we as a country rid ourselves of both the Bushes and the Clintons. Please hit the refresh button on your ballot by voting for somone else and moving the U.S. in a new direction.

    December 18, 2007 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  23. hey allons,tn

    hey somethjng that will make us all cry is another republican administration

    December 18, 2007 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  24. Joe, Wilmington DE

    Oh please. A classic display of Clintonesque contrived bull... Well, suffice it to say you can spread it on the ground and watch the plants grow faster.

    December 18, 2007 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  25. Rich in Maine

    Softer side? What would that be, pray tell, her backside? Softer side of a stone? I liked the headlines yesterday about Hitlery launches a likability campaign. That'll last like what, 30 seconds or so. That same amount of time it took to read "The Wit and Humor of the Johnson Administration".

    December 18, 2007 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
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