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. lou, Miami Florida

    what a bunch of haters, angry people... I myself can't wait for MADAM PRESIDENT!!! GO HILARY!!!!
    my money is on you...we are making history... I trust her capacity to solve our problems.

    December 17, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. Marie, Los Angeles CA

    For God's sake, she has friends she's had her whole life around her at this event. Who wouldn't get emotional? She's not a coldless robot. She's had to be tough all these months because she's a sharp and focused individual with a goal of changing this country. If she wants to have a moment to reflect on her life and feel love for the folks who've been with her from day one to see it, LET HER!! And as far as campaign tactics go, that's what campaigns do. Hillary-haters are dumb dumb dumb.

    December 17, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Jennifer, Evergreen, CO

    Reading this story I become "visibly emotional" does that make me qualified to be President?

    December 17, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Mike

    The Hilary I know has the support of Babs Streisand and that is all I need to know to know I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HER.

    December 17, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Ed, Corona, Ca.

    que teary scene, and .... action !

    December 17, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. Martin, Clarksville, TN

    Who cares if she shows some emotions? Everybody knows she will say or do anything to get elected. This was all staged.

    The Clintonians would be better off believing in Santa Claus than Hillary. While Santa may not exist, at least he won't lie to you and play you for a fool.

    Anybody but Hillary in 2008

    December 17, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. sandra, corona, ca

    Two loads of crap!! Of course your friends and family are going to campaign for you and say really nice things........who cares? What have you done as senator? What are your core beliefs? Come on, Hillary. Get a clue.

    December 17, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. trent porter, tx

    it's funny how even the articles admits that this was all "designed to showcase a softer side of the New York senator."... yes, DESIGNED!

    how phony! no thanks hillary, my vote is going to a REAL leader. Ron Paul 2008.

    December 17, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. OverTheRainbow, KS

    After watching the tape, I was very moved ... to leave the room to lose my lunch! This is so LOLF! Her campaign takes a poll to determine that a large percentage of people think Her Royal Thighness is cold and calculating. Sooooooooo, wait for it, they "announce" that we're NOW going to show you her softer, emotional side so you WILL like her. It's not just HER, it's her socialist, gov't expanding POLICIES we don't want! These people have no shame, and are pathetic.

    December 17, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. CensoredByCNN, Roxboro, NC

    If this babe is one of the frontrunners for the presidency,,, Imagine what this country looks like through the eyes of normal people.

    The nations we have defeated in war enjoy more freedom than we Americans do,,,and Hillary nor any of the other candidates are the answer to any problem.

    December 17, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Sarah, Manassas, Virginia

    You commenters are bunch of haters. Can anyone tell me why in the world you all hate Hillary?

    Reading through the comments, I did not see any substantive reasons why you all don't want her to be president. You all need to back it up with facts.

    Just an FYI, I am NEITHER a democrat or republican but I will prefer someone who has made mistakes in the past, learned from the mistakes rather than someone with no experience. Presidency is not walk in the park.

    For those of you who are Christians, remember that he who hates his fellow human being is a murderer. So back up all your comments with facts.

    December 17, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. Lola,Cleveland,OH

    I was undecided but this seems so scripted and fake that she has pushed me towards Obama.

    December 17, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. Tim , Seattle

    Its funny that when ever I ask someone why they 'hate' her, they stumble to find a concrete reason. I think some have genuine disagreements with her policy positions, but most just hate her... just because.

    Most of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle have expressed admiration or respect for her at one point or another over the last few years.

    Its really a catch 22 for Hillary. If shes tough, it threatens a lot of males (and women) who are apparently threatened by a strong woman figure. That makes her'cold' and calculating'. And if she softens up and tries to dispel that myth about her (and who among us would not want to correct that image?) , she is not genuine, is being slick or pandering. And she is weak.

    I may not vote for Hillary, but I just dont listen to the Hillary haters anymore, they have no credibility as far as I am concerned.

    December 17, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. Kevin, Landover, MD

    Well we wanted to know just how ridicules this Campaign would get and now we see. It’s like watching a peace of steel get sweaty on a hot day and interpreting it as the steel crying. This is a ploy and it should be very interesting to see how far Hillary will go with these antics.

    Women must be so ashamed. They no more want to see a Presidential Candidate cry as they wanted to see Ellen cry over a dog in public. That does not show strength

    December 17, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. Kate, NY, NY

    The bias with which this article is written is incredible. Doesn't CNN pride itself on being a hard-hitting, objective news channel unlike the Fox News and MSNBCs of the nation? Phrases like "designed to showcase" are clearly manipulative. Judging from the comments it worked on the absorptive minds of the lemmings. Sheep need to learn how to take their news with a grain of salt.

    December 17, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. Ryan Indianapolis

    If you people believe those were real tears , then you people are trully either super ignorant or ultra naive....The woman is the most calculating cold hearted evil woman to ever enter Politics...The woman is incapble of shedding tears.....

    December 17, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Paul W., Tampa, FL

    Wow, how interesting that ~7 out of 8 of the anti-Hillary responses in here are from men. What's the problem boys? Feeling a little threatened by a woman with more power, brains and potential than you'll ever know?

    You know, you can still buy a Camaro and put one of those classy italicized number 3's in your rear window to compensate for your...short comings. Grow up boys.

    December 17, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Jan Villarreal, Bakersfield,Ca

    Hillary is the best candidate for the Presidency. She is certainly the best candidate to finally represent American women! Experience does count. Many can talk about change but they have no way to back it up. Hillary can get the job done!

    December 17, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. Dan

    Haha Randy, maybe she was hungry but lesioned her 7th cranial nerve.

    Seriously though, can she get any more fake?

    December 17, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. Joel, Tacoma WA

    Jesus Christ, there are no Christians in America, and not much for press coverage either.

    So Hillary Clinton gets a little moist eyed when around old friends who are talking her up. This isn't news anymore than when someone gets misty eyed at a retirement party. This piece tells me nothing about any candidates, and that apparently its a slow news day for the press.

    As for the comments to it, I am not a Hillary supporter because of policy, but the rest of you hounds that haven't met her need to go find yourself a red letter bible and read the red letters. Start off with LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and move on to PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMIES. Reading comments like this makes me feel sick to my stomache.

    December 17, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. Andrew, Washington DC

    give me a break - this is so last minute phony-ness! PLEASE, real people don't have to ACT.

    December 17, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Pete, Chicago, IL

    Are the Obama supporters crying foul over their perceived Clinton "theatrics"? Can there be anything more theatrical than Oprah Winfrey campaigning for Obama? Once again Obama and his supporters want to have their cake and eat it too!

    When all of the dust settles, Hillary, I believe will come out on top. The only reason Obama is surging in the polls is because the Media hasn't scrutinized his record (or lack thereof). Obama claims to be against the war, yet in 2005, he stated he's "where's George Bush is at"; He attacks Hillary Clinton's foreign policy as flawed, yet fails to show up for important Foreign Policy votes in the US Senate. And his rational for voting only 'present' when it came to expanding abortion rights (See Chicago Tribune), was to provide him and his allies "political cover". In each of these cases, Obama could have made a stand for change, but instead came out O for 3. Is this what we want in our next US President?

    Former President Bill Clinton is right, having an individual with no executive experience and only 1 year of national service (when he actually shows up to vote) is unprecedented. Not only unprecedented, but dangerous. The last time an inexperienced candidate was chosen as President was in 2000. We have all seen what that led to.

    I do not believe that Obama is the golden child that we all believe him to be. I don't have to watch his pep rallies, I only need to compare his record to that of Clinton's. Clinton will not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Clinton is change I can believe in.

    December 17, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. NoMoClintons

    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.

    Posted By bobby : December 17, 2007 3:24 pm

    Bobby -> There's a reason for that. She is a cold, calculating, manipulative, revenge-oriented politician, who will say/do anything to get her power back. Oh, and she lies .... easily. Her negatives are at 50%. So, YES, there are a LOT of people who will never vote for her, or trust her. Does that come by accident? The media certainly doesn't bash her. The PEOPLE talk about her like that. Cal Thomas called her a pathological liar back in the 90s when she WAS first lady. Slick promised to punch him in the nose. Still waiting, like most of his promises.

    December 17, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. john c. public, chicago, il

    when will one candidate decide not follow polls, handlers, and public opinion to "craft" an image and message? today it is "softer side," when will, "this is who i really am, and this is what i beleive day come forth?" yeah, a pipe dream, huh?

    December 17, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Perkasie, Pa

    There seems to be a misconception about Hillary that she is a divisive
    figure. Is that because some love to hate her? This is the first time we
    as a nation will have an opportunity to vote for a woman who is a competent experienced individual that can better our nation.
    We are divided as a nation on many issues but we need leadership that can
    hit the ground running to correct some
    pressing problems and despite how her
    compassionate nature, make up and hair may be perceived these are hardly criteria important to consider. Obama may show promise but he is not yet ready for the task and the republicans are one sorry lot.

    December 17, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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