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. Diane, NYC, NY

    Every day Hillary Clinton tries to help someone – herself.

    And mostly she's trying to help herself to your hard earned cash.

    She's a better actress than I thought she might be, maybe there a future here for politicians going to Hollywood instead of actors going to the White House.

    December 18, 2007 07:05 am at 7:05 am |


    December 18, 2007 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  3. Joanne, Washington, DC

    Poll Results: Hillary is not likeable.
    Solution: A "Please, Please Like Me!" Event.
    Hopefully, she'll lose the nomination and we won't have to stomach this kind of self-centeredness anymore.

    December 18, 2007 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  4. Noah, Atlanta, GA

    We love you, Hillary, and we don't mind that you and Bill are the most corrupt couple to ever occupy the White House! We can't wait to gleefully put y'all and your sleazy brothers back in the pardons-for-profit biz. We hate those evil Republicans so much that we don't care about all that you two and your vicious hacks have done to ruin the Democratic party.

    December 18, 2007 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  5. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Too late with the warm fuzzy treatment of this shrill woman. NPR's Nina Totenberg suggested many months ago that she get some voice lessons to take that edge off, advice which was apparently ignored. America does not want her and will say so definitively by February 5.

    December 18, 2007 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  6. TheDonald

    Mrs Clinton shedding "Crocodile tears"! Very intesresting. I wonder if i can also change my lifelong personality in 21 days – # days to IOWA.

    I hope Mrs Clinton will write a book titled "Change your personality (and bad habbits) in 21 days, it would be a bestseller.

    December 18, 2007 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  7. VLT, Pasadena, CA

    Is HRC able to cry? This woman is the most calculating politician I have ever seen. How can the people of the US not see her transparant manipulations? She and Bill have had their time. Let someone with real integrity and purpose have a shot.

    December 18, 2007 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  8. Tom Jefferson, Roanoke, VA

    Thanks, Joel of Tacoma WA, for reminding us of red-letter Bibles. Too many people calling themselves Christians don't want to read or hear the words of Christ's teachings because they center on tolerance, forgiveness, and love, when they much prefer the intolerance and bigotry of the Old Testament and the writings of Paul. Living as Christ taught is the very essence of living a Christian life.

    December 18, 2007 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  9. Frank tulsa, ok

    It's too bad that politicians have to resort the this stuff to placate a schizophrenic country. Does America want to see a softer side of anyone? Look at all the leaders of this world, who's got the softest side. Putin? Chavez? Castro? Cowboy wannabe Bush? Wannabe hunter Cheney? Kim Jong is Ill? Hu Jintao? Sarkozy? Musharraf?

    Who's the softy folks? And who's the real softy among all of our candidates? It's interesting that we demand that the men be hardcore but the women had to have a 'softer side'? Margaret Thatcher was put into office because she was a tough old bird that didn't take crap from the male elite. But if Hillary does this, she's too hard.

    Boy the campaign really played into the hands of the Repubs on this one. Before she was too hardcore, now she's too emotional and unstable. I hope it is staged for their sake, that way if she has to fake tears she's considered hardcore just like cowboy George and his sidekick Barney Fife.

    December 18, 2007 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  10. freetobeme, Rochester, PA

    This is a woman whose campaign has become increasingly negative and dirty the more her rivals have gained on her. And yet, she wants us to believe that she is a warm and loving person who genuinely cares about us. As for her statement that every day she tries to find someone to help, that sounds more realistic of this candidate with an unpleasant socialist bent. Nearly every politician (except Ron Paul) thinks that sticking his/her nose into my business is helping me. No thanks. I can help myself. Just let me have my freedom, Government. And then GO AWAY!

    December 18, 2007 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  11. Marge Hibbing. MN

    Obama is a pany waist who doesn't know what the heck he is doing half the time. If he had any sense of how to run a country he would at least show up to vote. He has missed over 140 votes this year alone. Almost as many as Tim Johnson who had a medical emergency.

    He skipped the Kyl-Liberman resolution and then panned especially Hillary Clinton for voting. If it was such an important issue why in the devil didn't he show up to vote. Why didn't he show up to vote to give the military more time between deployments. Why didn't he show up to vote for more health benefits for military.

    Oh but this is the guy who give speeches about what he is going to do for America. When he can't even vote to do that what in the devil would he do as president.

    December 18, 2007 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  12. Brian Tampa, FL

    For eight years Democrats bought Bill and Hillary Clinton hook, line and sinker. They have always been disingenuous, with Bill in the lead role it just wasn't so obvious. They are a disgrace, he will be remembered as a footnote between Reagan and Bush, she won't even register in the pages of history.

    December 18, 2007 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  13. dg,houston

    hillary get emotional? she has no can that be?

    December 18, 2007 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  14. Theo, Manorville, NY

    And this year's Oscar goes to........

    "your lips move, but I can't hear what you say..."

    December 18, 2007 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  15. Scott L., Fairport, NY

    Ms. Clinton's disingenuous behavior continues to chip away at my loyalty to the Democratic Party. It appears she will stop at nothing to win the nomination, playing some of the dirtiest politics I have seen in years. I never thought I'd say this, but if she gets the nomination, I might just have to vote Republican! !

    December 18, 2007 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  16. David English, Medford Oregon (living overseas in Korea)

    Oh give me a break! Listen to the Clinton campaign hacks whine. This woman has done nothing but turn her attack politics (the same type she denounces) on other Democrats. Need I remind the Clinton camp about the utterly stupid remarks about Obama wanting to be president as a child. Talk about hate driven politics. Hillary Clinton is the queen of hate politics.

    I actually use to like her (and still do like her husband to a certain extent as I voted for him twice). However, disagree with her stances on many different issues as well as her attitude. I don't buy her sudden show of emotion. It's all political theater.

    December 18, 2007 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  17. Florence Foley, New York, New York

    All this ham acting makes her more unlikeable. She's scrambling and making the mistake of going for the lowest common denominator and as a result turning away the people who wanted to vote for her in the beginning.

    December 18, 2007 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  18. Roger Cannon, Chesterfield, Va.

    Now I am warming must be real...ALL the icebergs are melting.

    December 18, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  19. Jim Mackle - Phila. Pa.

    If she really wants to help someone every day she should just go away.

    December 18, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  20. TJ, Hoboken, NJ

    Wow! I may not necessarily believe that Clinton is the best candidate for president (though I wouldn't be horrified if she won) but the kind of hatred towards her displayed on this board is just shocking! I mean I disagree with her on what i perceive to be somewhat socialist agenda but for people to criticize her on her laugh, tears etc is just ridiculous

    December 18, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  21. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    Her fall in the polls is starting to bear down on her.

    I'm going to enjoy watching this fraud collapse like a house of cards.

    December 18, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  22. Larry DeVito Mason NH

    This is getting ridiculous. Hillary and Bill continuing to talk out of both sides of their mouths, now getting teary-eyed, changing their slogans and talking points to suit the flavor of the day, which only underscores the fact that they do not have an honest and consistent set of principles. The tears are not only a ploy for sympathy but I believe a sure sign of panic.

    December 18, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  23. Vince, NY, NY

    To all of you who accuse some of us of being hateful and afraid of a woman in power:

    I can only speak for myself – I'm one of those people who think Clinton is a fake and will say whatever she thinks will get her elected, rather than what she truly believes. But I don't HATE Clinton and I couldn't care less if our president is a man or a woman. I think she is a calculating politician, but I don't HATE her. I have my reservations about Obama and I'm not sure about Edwards. So I WANT to be enthusiastic about her running for president. I WANT to like her. I WANT to believe her and in her. But I have NO IDEA what she actually stands for. I don't know what side of the issues she's REALLY on.

    December 18, 2007 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  24. PSK Lakeside, AZ


    December 18, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  25. K Martin, Lagrange, GA

    boo hoo Hillary. boo freakin hoo. you spent your life calculating, scheming, lying, and pandering... but it's slipping away from you.

    how can a black man beat you in Iowa? There's only .00001 percent of the population that's black! OBAMA is much, much, much more electable than you.

    can't you see that americans are SICK SICK SICK of the way the Bushes and Clintons have governed? It's too polarizing. I voted republican last election, and will be voting Obama this time. Let's have a new vision and new direction for this nation!

    December 18, 2007 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
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