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. JudyC

    I hope Iowa Democrats don't fall for this crap. I was prepared to vote for Hillary, but she has lost me as well.

    I don't like dirty politics... first Bill Shaheen and the drug dealer remark, then Bill's nasty Obama remarks on Charlie Rose, now Bob Kerry really crosses the line... saying Obama attended a Madrassa.

    This is the kind of stuff you expect from Karl Rove, and I won't vote for her now no matter what happens.

    December 17, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. S.B. L.A. CA.

    Bwwwaahhhhaaa are you kidding me, I'm going to blow chunks, bwwwaaaahhhaaa

    December 17, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Pepe Le Pue

    And Oscar for best acting on campaign trail goes to...

    David Geffen was on to something when he said " the clintons lie with such ease."

    At lease we know she has a career in the acting business. she will need it. Though I don't think Geffen will give her a job. We shall see.

    December 17, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Grant Olson, Bloomington Indiana

    Another dysfunctional spectacle from the Family Clinton. And now she invites us all to be her enablers.

    December 17, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. Angela, WPB< FL

    Wow, I cant believe all the Hillary haters here.
    It's been my experience that people who ridicule genuine empathy and passion for a cause are people who simply don't possess those qualities themselves and feel diminished when confronted with them in others. This is probably too complex an idea for most of the Hill- haters to comprehend, but I can always hope.

    Please, CNN, don't delete this – you'll take away ALL my hope..

    Go Hillary!!

    December 17, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. right-wing-conspiracy, Pittsburgh, PA

    This reminds me of the cry-on-demand that Slick Willie performed at the Ron Brown funeral in 1996:

    December 17, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. James, Newark DE

    The funny thing is, this will only work with people who are already gonna vote for her. Everyone else with more than half a brain sees it for what it is. What next? Her favorite cookie recipe to show what a little homemaker she is? Oh, wait. She already did that.

    December 17, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. John Kaleto, San Diego, CA

    She's just like her estranged husband–willing to say anything to anyone just to get elected, and letting the polls dictate how the campaign is run.
    The rally cry for 2008 should be, "No more Clintons!"

    December 17, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Donna Drummond, San Francisisco, CA

    Born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa and I have a question for Hillary. What did she do to help one individual today? Sure, she can tout her public concerns and get tears in her eyes when talking about helping people as a group (even though she screwed Americans over on health care during her husband's term), but I want to know what person she helped today, or yesterday, or any other day. That is where we show real concern and compassion. If she didn't personally help one person today in some way, I have grave doubts about her ability to help the nation.

    December 17, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. Dennis M. San Diego, CA

    Oh puhlease! Unless...this is Hillary's preemptive "Checkers" speech?

    December 17, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Jonathan R Hall, Orinda, California

    Instead of play acting and triangulating she should be back in the Capitol helping Chris Dodd undo the damage that snake in the grass Harry Reid has done by bringing Dick Cheney's FISA bill to the floor.

    December 17, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Kim, San Diego, CA

    The "HillBot v2.0™" – With the amazing new superfast AMD "crocchip" addition, allowing the "HillBot v2.0" to trickle tears at will.

    Watch as the technological hard-wired marvel that is the "HillBot v2.0™" work her way through the new programming – Shiny eyes on demand? Just use program 1a. Real trickle tears? Use program 2a. Insane cackle? While this is an error within the chip itself, we find that customers like it under certain circumstances... If needed, use program 3a.

    The "HillBot v2.0™" – All the candidate you'll ever need, and more!

    December 17, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Paul Dickins, Ottawa, ON

    I would really like to know in what place in this group Madame Hillary should be placed:
    Indira Gandhi
    Margaret Thatcher
    Golda Meier
    Elizabeth I
    Marie Stopes
    Madame Curie
    Catherine the Great

    My view is probably nowhere: these women are their own personas, not needing threadbare reasoning by husband clones to press the case.

    December 17, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Jose Card

    Wow! Senator Hillary Clinton actually has tears just like the millions of American citizens she totally forgot.

    The Clintons spent lots of their time in D.C. with their good American friends, the lobbyists. Fortunately, corporations cannot vote for president.
    People spoke loudly with small amounts of donations. Our system works.

    Hillary was not electable from Day One no matter how rosy major media painted her to be.

    Honesty is the best policy. Hope the Clintons finally learn the lesson this time.

    December 17, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Ajay Jain, Garland, Texas

    One has to smile at all the “I’ll never vote for her” postings. If you are a Republican you were never going to vote for her anyway, if you are one of the distinct minority of Hillary haters on the left of the Democratic Party the essential silliness of this position will soon become apparent if she gets the nod. On present evidence this seems highly likely much to the chagrin of Mr. Balz and the media world who want a horse race because it sells newspapers and air time which is why there is all the parsing in his piece although he accepts the most likely outcome. Absent a major slip up there seems little doubt she has it wrapped up. Contrary to some assertions above she does not do conspicuously worse than Edwards or Obama against any member of the Republican field. On the contrary she does better than either of them and while they have been stuck for months in the mid twenties and mid teens for months she has steadily improved her position and has now been sitting in the low forties for weeks. In Iowa she has come from behind and leads in most polls. Why? Because she is self evidently the best candidate. She has a formidable machine, plenty of money and a few more difficult to pin down advantages like Gender and the presence of Bill who is widely respected much to the chagrin of the right.
    The right must have choked over their coffee when Greenspan recently gave Bill stellar grades and of course they responded as they always do by launch personal attacks (there’s a typical example in today’s post from Novak).
    There is no question she is going to get the nomination and a 60% chance she’s going to win the presidency. Even some right wingers like Karl Rove are gloomily admitting it.
    All the negative comments about Hillary on this board are from disgruntled Republicans who do not have a great choice in their party and will elect a nominee called “none of the above” because Republicans will stay home in 2008.
    What a stark contrast there is in the Republican nomination and the Democratic nomination campaigns. Republicans know fully well after G. W. Bush we can only have a Democratic President and its going to be Hillary this time!
    People and the writer of this article give undue importance to the Iowa caucus. Isn’t it time to break the back of this myth of Iowa’s importance? They haven’t picked a winner since 1976. And Clinton and Kerry won the democratic nominations without winning in Iowa. Enough with the rural pandering.
    I fondly remember the Bill Clinton administration years as pretty good ones in spite of the personal attacks from the right. The personal problems were Bill’s not Hillary’s. She had to deal with him and the public and she did it expertly with a win as a junior Senator in NY and a re-election where she won 67% of the vote, with 58 of 62 counties including the MOSTly Republican “red” counties in upstate NY.
    In the General election Hillary will beat the pants off any Republican nominee trying to keep us fighting the Iraq war.
    People forget that Giuliani dropped out in that first Senate race not because of prostate cancer, but because he saw the writing on the wall, which was a certain defeat and an end to his political dreams.
    We may have the re-match that we never had. Rudy vs. Hillary. Single point campaign of 9-11 against well rounded Hillary.
    When Bill Clinton left the White House we were a nation at peace, we had a sizable surplus, we had a growing economy, and today he is the most popular politician in the nation if not the world.
    Maybe that is not such a bad thing to return to. But the reality is that Hillary is not Bill. She is by all accounts smarter and definitely won’t have the personal problems that Bill had. She is a master politician and is becoming a master speaker as attested to by looking at her in some of her live appearances and on only sweep of the Sunday news shows in this election cycle.

    It is Hillary’s time and it is the time for a woman to be the US President. It is time to break the highest glass ceiling in the US. I predict that many Republican women will join because they have said “I have never voted or never voted for a Democrat in my life, but if Hillary is the candidate and I have the chance to see a woman US President in my lifetime, Hillary will have my vote!”
    People underestimate the positive change that will occur around the world in the way the United States is viewed when we elect Hillary. She will be symbol for women everywhere.
    It’s time to give up the sniping and for some women to stop venting their jealousy, which is really what it is when they complain not about her policies but about her personal choices as relates to Bill.
    It’s time to think about the nation and Hillary will be good for the nation and the world.

    December 17, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. Neal Schooley, Birmingham, AL

    Give me a break! We need leaders who are transparent,genuine and who we can trust to be who they say they are.

    December 17, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. S. Naficy, Memphis, TN

    Crocodile Tears.

    December 17, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. Scott, Mountain View, CA

    Jan in Bakersfield (or anyone else who believes that HRC has such an experience advantage),

    Could any of you outline for the rest of us what that huge advantage is? If she'd share her records as first lady, perhaps we could give her some credit for the Clinton years. Otherwise, doesn't she simply have 4 more years as a Senator than Obama & Edwards? Is that really such a big deal?

    Would love to hear what I've been missing because Clinton supporters trumpet the "experience" card as if it's a given.

    December 17, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  19. James, Dallas Tx

    Thats not my Commander in Chief... NO WAY

    December 17, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. Jim, Lawrenceville GA

    Why is it that anything Hillary does, people try to act like it not real. Hillary does try to help all people. She has given many years of her life to serving people. Serving people is not easy. Hillary could be doing other things, but she has a long standing devotion to helping people. Hillary is the perfect candidate for president.

    December 17, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. Dan (Baltimore, MD)

    "Sniff, sniff...Hey you, are those cameras on?" "Yes Senator Clinton."
    "Good. Oh, sniff, sniff, it's so touching!"

    Go shed your crocodile tears elsewhere, Hillary. Americans are smart enough to smell your pandering miles away...

    December 17, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. Brianne

    And the Oscar goes to....Hillary "Look at me, I'm so emtional like you" Clinton.

    Gag me. I wondered who slipped her the Visine right before she went on stage.
    Does she really expect people to believe this crap when she's so blatently shoving it down voters throats? Ok, Hil, we get it, you cry. You have feelings. Blah Blah Blah. This just proves how unbelievably desperate she and her camp is. It's actually quite funny.

    December 17, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. michael moriarty, pasadena, ca

    I'm sick of all the hateful villifying of Hillary on the left and right.

    She's got my vote, she's a strong leader and her heart's in the right place.

    December 17, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    Apparently there is nothing Hillary can do that the Bushies agree with. Too hard...too political...too calculating...
    No, wait a minute..that's der Fuhrer.

    December 17, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  25. A. Harrison, Atlanta Georgia

    We Love you Hillary!

    December 17, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20