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. john, NY,NY

    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!

    Posted By Bill,ca : December 17, 2007 3:10 pm

    please give me a break. she never had your vote to begin. cut the crap OBAMA STAFFER

    December 17, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Nancy, Dallas TX

    The error is on the part of voters who 'want to see a softer side' of Hillary. The woman is running for President, not head of the PTA. Voters, get a grip.

    December 17, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Tyrese Gail Williams Philadelphia Pennsylvania

    Just another phony attempt by Clinton to stem her slide in the polls. This woman will stop at nothing: smearing her opponents, lying about her experience, or now crying "crocodile tears" to show her so called softer side. She is the most nasty, polarizing candidate in either party and American voters can hopefully see thru her act.

    December 17, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  4. tina

    Her husband cheated on her in front of the world, with a girl almost the same age as her daughter with all the sordid details public domain, and she doesn't shed a tear, ever... I can't even recall her looking sad on camera. Now she is on a champaign and her polls say people see her as cold and out comes a mother nones every seen, and a daughter and now tears, with friends. To any who are thinking of voting for her , you know that her and her husband are in this for the power and not for the betterment of America.

    December 17, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. frank la may summerfield, florida

    is there nothing they will not try to get this women elected? now she is crying. what a crock. i am still trying to find out what her experience is. so far I see no more experience than any of the other people running.

    December 17, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. Vic Novosad, Sugar Land, Texas

    Former Senator Bob Kerrey, now president of New York University, got it one hundred per cent right in his endorsement of Hillary Clinton. This woman is one of the hardest workers, sincere in her job as representing all New Yorkers for the past seven years. And I suppose it was all right for the Bushes to tear up during speeches, but for the lady to do it is disgraceful. Right? Hillary is for real so we all should give her a break, and ourselves at the same time.

    December 17, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. Rob, San Francisco, CA

    The only person she is interested in helping is herself.

    December 17, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. Mike, Houston, TX

    And the Oscar for Best Actress goes to...

    December 17, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. Jeff Jones

    Billary Clinton is one of the most cunning and calculating polticians in recent history. Her brand of political theater would be given a rating of "x" due to it's over-the-top emotionalism. She is so fake that she exudes it. This lady will do anything to get the Democratic nod in the primary. I am amazed at how slavishly attached to MRS. Clinton (sans the Rodham) some Democrats are. Is their lust in nominating this neo-liberal sycophant so great that they would jeopardize the possibility of regaining the White House? Hillary shifts in the direction that the polls tell her to shift in. She hasn't a sense of conviction or compunction in anything. She is a powermongering progressive feminist who doesn't have time "to stay home and bake cookies..." She is all about herself.

    December 17, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Teddy Bear, ND, IN

    Wow... whats next HRC. What else is in the line up. Would you just show the American People who you really are and stop taking us for fools. Of those "friends" how many of them deep down would be your friend if you were not married to the formal president. Or are they just as cold and calculating as you seem. I am sure deep down inside there is a truly human side of you but you have yet to show it. Its one thing to be a strong woman but women are suppose to be the ones with a heart. Can you show me that you have one? Please no more fake tears, i can tear up on cue also wanna see? What you need is a new team of strategist. You are married to the best politician in the world, have him advise you.

    December 17, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Phlipper, Oakland, CA

    It's about time they show the soft side of Hillary. But since some of you Dems love to eat your own, go ahead and give the Repubs the office in 2008 by demonizing her.

    Y'all sicken me.

    December 17, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. amyn,arl,tx

    Don't hate Hillary because she's an accomplished woman.What's the wisdom in that please God help me.
    Can anyone tell me what she did so wrong?
    This is a very smart accomplished woman.If she is such a polarising figure as some would want us to believe,then why is she not known for that in the state she represents.
    Just tell me people what has hillary done so wrong that you can not see her single sterling qualities.
    Please respect my first lady.I wouldn't stand for anyone who denigrates any of our first ladies and the vice first ladies.
    They are accomplished women who may be as smart as their husbands and there is no gain to nobody bellitling their intelligence.
    I am aware of the insecurity a lot of men have around smart, trusting and pretty females.Now get over that if you are a male and feel secured.And tothe femalesI say this is one of your own so don't hate.

    December 17, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Robert Bell, Brunswick, Georgia

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

    The key word here is DESIGNED. This is not a spontaneous moment here. The "Tour of Tears" on the "Hilly Copter" was DESIGNED to hit as many forums in Iowa as possible, with an emotional-on-demand Hillary showing her "softer side".

    The technical definition for that is "acting".

    It would have worked if it was not a pre-arranged, scripted deal.

    And therein lies the rub.

    December 17, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. Ben, Nashville, TN

    She has lost credibility and lost my vote.

    It's easy during a political campaign to lose your sense of yourself. I don't think Edwards, Biden, Richardson, Dodd, or Obama have lost themselves. But Hillary has been so focused on posturing, acting, and politicking that I'm afraid she's lost any sense of authenticity.

    If she would have started her campaign this way, maybe I would trust it. But she needed to prove she is tough – which just demonstrates our country's sexism. Now, at a time where she's trying to appear soft, I don't buy it.

    December 17, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Tommy, Orlando, FL

    We Love you, Hillary!!! Don't let the bias Media & those HATERS defines you.... Keep Marching On!!!

    December 17, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. bbln

    All you Obamaniacs – I know he talks about change, but what has he done to actually affect a number of people? The only bill he's passed as a Senator was recognition of the Republic of Congo. Most of you are so young and/or so unwilling to look at the facts – who has implemented change all their lives, and Dodd, Richardson, Biden and Clinton all have a record on change:

    As First Lady, Hillary helped create SCHIP, which provides health insurance for more than 6 million children: As First Lady, Hillary helped pass the State Children's Health Insurance Program. She helped negotiate the bill with Congress and later was the point person working to ensure that parents across the country knew about the program and signed up their children. "Over the course of a year, the program, financed jointly by the federal government and the states, provides health insurance to six million children in families that have too much income to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy private insurance." [White House Press Release 10/17/00; New York Times, 3/14/07]

    As Senator, Hillary helped ensure that 370,000 children did not lose coverage: As Senator, Clinton successfully sponsored legislation to extend $2.7 billion in unused State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funding. Because the Clinton-backed bill became law, the $2.7 billion in expiring funds will now go to the states for their intended purpose – health coverage for children. This action alone prevented 360,000 children nationwide from losing coverage. Recently, Hillary introduced a major expansion of the program, extending children's health coverage to families up to 400% of the federal poverty level (which is $70,000 for a family of three). [HRC Press Release 8/14/03; Hillary release, 3/14/07 ]

    December 17, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. Alex, Santa Barbara, Ca

    If Hillary really trys to find ways to help people everyday. Then why did she & her posse stiff Anita Esterday (the Iowan waitress, single mother of 2) of her tip? Is that the kind of help the we should look forward to under her administration?

    December 17, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. Thomas-NY

    Oh Whatever! I cannot believe CNN is running this story. CNN loses the little credibility it has ever hour these kinds of stories are posted. I'm a registered Independent and I am throwing my full support behind Obama, if Obama doesn't get the nod then I'm going to Edwards. Hillary is evil, wicked and controlling, which i believe will be the demise of her campagin

    December 17, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. Kirstin, Los Angeles, CA

    I think I'm going to vomit. This is such an orchestration!

    December 17, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Tim, Cincinnati, OH

    "What I try to do every day is to figure out how to help somebody." LOL! Mother Hillary of New York? Or it is Chicago? Little Rock?

    December 17, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. joe DeSoto, MO.

    If we vote for Obama Bush will be right
    they will have fallowed us home.
    GO Hillary

    December 17, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. Bill, Montgomery AL

    Ah, you mean she's human, or is this playing to the polls again? I don't trust her no further than I could throw her.

    December 17, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. Aberdeen,MD

    If she gets elected, this country is in deep dodo.

    December 17, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Dennis, Los Angeles CA

    Sorry Mrs. Clinton, but the nation is not only fatigued with Bush/Clinton, we are just plain sick of blatant manipulation. Hillary’s family and friends event was pure theatrics where she is going for the performance of her life. Stop it, go away and let real change agents go for the job of leader of the free world – sadly many people don’t even know what a change is anymore. Hillary and all the deal makers must go; we need a person with real character, experienced or not. Speaking of Hillary’s Clinton experience, yeah we all experienced Bill looking straight into the camera and lying about “that woman.” Then we experienced Hillary’s rise to Senator from New York as reward for keeping the “partnership” together. It appears now as if even those deepest in the den of estrogen are waking to the reality of Hillary, thank God. For those whom a woman president is important, choose Barbara Boxer next time, she is a capable person of intelligence true character.

    December 17, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. Janice

    Wow, Hillary really is desperate to the point she is crying......

    December 17, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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