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. ak, boston, ma

    a lot of character-readers seem to see the fake clinton and go on shouting for an obama / edwards ticket. no offence to the political glibness of obama, but edwards comes across as the fakest and shallowest politician / person. no?!

    December 17, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. Cindy Atlanta GA

    Someone give her an Oscar ! Give me a break !!!

    December 17, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  3. Lee, Signal Mountain, TN

    You have got to be kidding me . . . It's difficult to imagine someone more disingenuous than Bill Clinton. But Hillary has clearly out done the former Liar-in-Chief with this nonsense. Birds of a feather . . .

    December 17, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Vee, Florida.

    How many president/s of the United States of America do we have at a time? Aint it one or am I missing something? I think in the Clinton camp, what we see is a whole family and then a mother/grand-mother/mother-in-law/ running from the same camp for presidency. Kinda so ambitious, aint it? Hahahaha... I wonder what will happen if none of them doesn't get it.

    December 17, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. Vee, Florida.

    How many president/s of the United States of America do we have at a time? Aint it one or am I missing something? I think in the Clinton camp, what we see is a whole family and then a mother/grand-mother/mother-in-law/ running from the same camp for presidency. Kinda so ambitious, aint it? Hahahaha... I wonder what will happen if none of them gets it.

    December 17, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. Kelly, Columbus, OH

    How transparent. She should think that the women of this country are smarter than to buy this obvious ploy. Too little, too late. She should have shown us a sensitive and vulnerable side when her husband cheated on her.

    December 17, 2007 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. pbj, San Ramon, CA

    Sincerity is the key to success. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

    I'm sure the stage direction was right there in her notes:

    Blah, blah, blah
    [Begin spontaneous tears here]
    Finish with reference to blah, blah, blah.

    Say goodnight, Hillary.

    December 17, 2007 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. oliver

    Hillary is so predictable. I wish she would have been stronger as a woman and showed the appropriate emotional response when her man (the president) had oral sex in the whitehouse with an intern. Any other boss and husband would have been fired by his employer and his wife. Again, Hillary was not so emotional on camera back then when things were worth getting emotional about. I just don't trust her and I really don't think she will fool most women, especially days after the media portrayed her as being so emotionless.

    December 17, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. P. Joseph, Denver, Colorado

    There are many reasons why someone would chose an individual to be a leader for this great country and I appreciate the former first lady’s displaying her softer side. However, there is a time for everything and because of her tearful actions in such difficult time both economically and politically, this portrays not only weakness but also the inability to be strong and show the American public that they should be strong through those tough times and she will be strong leader for us. Will she shed tears when a world crisis occur and must make tough decisions to fight for what is right for the American people for example war to defend its interest? I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican but for me her tears should be now tears of sadness because she has hurt her image and may very well have lost several potential votes; particularly mines. Once again, there is a place and a time for everything and that wasn't it!

    December 17, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. BB, Washington, DC

    It's not working for us, Hillary. It is as though you are playing right into Obama's hands with your theatrical performances. He may have some flaws, but he does have vision, intelligence, and enough insight to be able to help bridge the gap across party lines. Your performances simply coincide with the view held by many that you are a machine, and I believe America is waking up to the realization that a machine is not what we need right now.

    December 17, 2007 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. marc d, colorado

    This is the typical clinton game of change my image to fit the day! i hope Iowa voters are smart enough to figure this one out

    December 17, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. Goody - Eugene, OR

    One thing America has is a segment of ignorant, hate mongering, envious, pathetic, female bashing morons! The internet has certainly brought that to light. If a fraction of you has-beens accomplished what Hillary Clinton has in her life, you wouldn't be so filled with such a lack of self-respect.

    December 17, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. James, Mountain View, CA

    Of course it's a staged campaign moment! If Hillary wasn't caught in the terrible grip of the sexist paradox, she wouldn't have to do this kind of event. If you listen to the pundits, Hillary's either a cold-hearted political machine or a weak-kneed woman without the toughness to protect our country.

    Could it be the truth is somewhere in between? That's my guess, but I don't think the media or most of America has enough nuance of thought to understand that.

    December 17, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  14. Mike, Eugene, Oregon

    My god, I think she'll do *anything* to get elected. What a train wreck. This sociopath, with a string of illegal activities trailing her like a bride’s trestle, wants to be President? Let’s see the cattle futures, the missing Whitehouse records (found a year later with her fingerprints all over them), plenty of shady business deals, the current crop of minimum wage dishwashers being used to funnel in Indian and Chinese donations, the underhanded campaign tactics questioning the Christianity of Barak Obama, the use of surrogates to spread slander and lies, her awful support of outsourcing American jobs, her aiding companies in hiring Guest workers that displace older American workers (especially using the H1-B visa), the constant denigrating of males, the underhanded racist asides, and on and on. I am a Democrat, but I would vote for Bush before Clinton. What a sad piece of work she and Billy are

    December 17, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. J

    How is this news? Hillary gets emotional.

    ... Okay, so what?

    December 17, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Jeff, Laguna Beach, CA

    does she do anything without calculating its political impact. Tears now.... what next?

    December 17, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. Sherm Kader, Ruston, La

    Hillary Clinton has proven herself to be an exceptionally good and decent woman. Her only real problem is she is a woman and the woman haters do not want her to be President. They will do all they can to prevent that from happening. She will do it anyway.

    I'm enough of a human being to see something very good there. I am very proud to say that I love Hillary Clinton. I will vote for her in spite of all the hillaryhatist sickness running around.

    December 17, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Paul NY NY

    Wow all these Obama lackies talk about change but the most venemous comments come from them. They have the nerve to talk about Clinton being cold and calculated , Look in a mirror and the comments posted by you guys. Some of you make Bush look honerable. Looks like Obama fans are politics as usual.

    December 17, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. Stephen May -- Memphis, Tennessee

    "Whatever It Takes Hillary" . . . she is truly a soul-less, say-anything, do-anything, power addict. No way Americans fail to see right through this charade, they can smell the stench of desperation all the way from Iowa.

    December 17, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Kelly Puckett - Kenton, Ohio

    Keep up the good fight Hillary, you have my sopport all the way. Kelly Puckett

    December 17, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. CW, Springfield, IL

    400,000+ You Tube viewers watch HRC sing the national anthem badly. Thirty-seven friends placed pro-Hill plug on the HillaryIKnow website....very telling.
    Hillary only revealed Illinois as her home state once Obama declared his candidacy. Now, Camp Clinton declares Obama has an advantage because HIS home state neighbors IA. I'm guessing her 37 friends don't live in Illinois.

    December 17, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. Oscar, Los Angeles, California

    Fake, fake, fake, fake, fake.

    December 17, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. Janet, Fairbanks Alaska

    I grow weary (I am being charitable to many of the previous posters)… I grow weary of the constant Hillary bashing by everyone, Democrat and Repub alike, and would be far more surprised were it not for the rampant misogynistic tendencies in general and the media in particular... of course, I understand, its been a historical pattern in US ever since women were jailed for attempting to vote prior to the 19th Amendment...Just a bit sad such 'fear and loathing' continues unabated. It is a real pity that in our current climate of chest beating and crotch scratching machismo posturing on the domestic and international theaters and presence that we remain unable (should that be unwilling?) to discuss a candidate’s potential in an election or ‘job’ without stooping to 3rd grade school like references by embracing embarrassing “cooties, appearance, hair or aftershave”. Just remember a country and its citizenry frequently get “Not only the representative they want but what they deserve”… I for one will vote for Hillary because she represents what we need, strength, ability, skill and capability… we do not need what we deserve (by way of our infantile prattle) which I a liken much more to what we now, sadly, seem to have.

    December 17, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  24. Bob, Seattle

    HRH has a reputation that she has 'earned' ever since she has been in public life. No testimonials from so-called inside the family will erase the written, documented record. HRH is a nasty woman. It is well known. It is what it is. The folks know it. And will vote accordingly. An earned response to her dealings.

    December 17, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  25. Matt, Chicago, Illinois

    What a pathetic display by Clinton. A great president does alway have to be well liked...Look at George Bush!

    December 17, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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