January 7th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
8 years ago

Clinton gets emotional at New Hampshire stop

Watch Obama react to Bhutto's death

Watch Clinton get emotional at a New Hampshire stop Monday.

PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire (CNN) - Hillary Clinton became visibly emotional at a New Hampshire campaign event today after a friendly question from a voter.

At the close of a Portsmouth campaign stop, Marianne Pernold-Young, 64, asked Clinton: "How do you do it? How do you keep up... and who does your hair?"

Clinton began noting that she had help with her hair on "special days," and that she drew criticism on the days she did not. Then she added: "It's not easy, and I couldn't do it if I just didn't, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do.

"You know, I have so many opportunities from this country, I just don't want to see us fall backwards," she said, her voice breaking a bit. The audience applauded.

"This is very personal for me, it's not just political, it's [that] I see what's happening, we have to reverse it," she said emotionally, adding that some "just put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds.

"But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us ready and some of us are not. Some of us know what we will do on day one, and some of us really haven't thought that through enough...

"So as tired as I am - and I am. And as difficult as it is to try and keep up what I try to do on the road, like occasionally exercise and try to eat right - it's tough when the easiest food is pizza - I just believe so strongly in who we are as a nation. So I'm gonna do everything I can and make my case and you know the voters get to decide."

The New York senator is under pressure after some weekend surveys showed opponent Barack Obama with a sudden double-digit edge, with less than a day to go until the New Hampshire primary.

At a New Hampshire campaign event, presidential rival John Edwards told reporters he was unaware of Clinton's emotional reaction and would not respond to it, but added, according to CNN's Dugald McDonnell: "I think what we need in a commander in chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are a tough business, but being President of the United States is also a very tough business. And the President of the United States is faced with very, very difficult challenges every single day, difficult judgments every single day."

- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • New Hampshire
soundoff (926 Responses)
  1. R. Pacheco

    I think the media needs to stop putting their spin on everything and let the people of this country decide for themselves who they want as President without media influence. Everyone is ganging up on H. Clinton. Why? Because she's a female? Get real boys, she's the right one for the job!

    January 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Rob Johnson

    American women should hit the roof and mobilize themselves against the kind of double standard the media, Obama and Edwards are attempting to perpetrate here with the over the top hype of this non-event.

    January 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Diane

    Jane – you mistake anger for passion. She has every right to be passionate and should be able to defend herself. I cannot believe how small John Edward and Barack Obama have acted towards her, makes you wonder how they really feel about women.

    January 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Dean St. Louis

    I guess Hillary can't ever be emotional or have a bad hair day because you Obama nuts are ready to call her a fake or to emotional to be president. I guess you forgot what Michelle told good ole Barack " If you don't win this time there is no next time". Talk about playing one emotions. It appears that good ole Michelle and Barack can't take the campaigning anymore than Hillary, oops I forgot that was the Obama group, they can't take anything that is said about Obama. I am not a big Hillary fan but she is far and away better than Mr. Change who will not change anything and if you believe Michelle he has a hard to changing is socks. Remember, smelly Barack.

    January 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Carol

    She is so pathetic even I'm starting to feel sorry for her – not enough to vote for her though. It's great seeing that smirky, arrogant look of hers fade away along with her candidacy.

    January 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Marty

    Grow up Hillary! Don't try to cry for sympathy votes.

    January 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Go Hillary

    After listening to the disgusting supposed news coverage of Hillary showing some semblance of emotion and suggesting that it is detrimental to her campaign, I've decided to vote for her. Thanks for helping me decide.

    January 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. John, Wahington DC

    Is she going to cry in office everytime she realizes she's not on top of a situation? Do you think the Cuban Missle Crisis would have turned out different if JFK had started crying? If the country and the media throws at her what it throws at Bush is she just going to cry all day?

    January 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Ben

    to Paul, I am seriously thinking voting Rep if Obama gets it. I prefer McCain by far. We NEED EXPERIENCE!!!!!!

    January 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Erin

    The beauty of it is Bukky, that she wasn't crying. There was no crying. This is what the media and people posting these comments will have you believe, but she wasn't crying. Take a minute and watch the video. She was quietly reflecting on her convictions and hopes for this election. Something Obama does frequently. But as he is a man, it is not weak when his voice cracks. Because she is a woman, there have been character assasinations all day from the media and readers.

    January 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. John

    OMG, How lame can one get. She's a very tricky woman and this was an act. Is she gonna cry if she don't get what she wants. Awwwwwww, poor baby.

    I almost puked when I heard her choke up in front of those women. This is a leader??
    The next commander in chief. The world is busting a gut at this crap.

    You must ...must...MUST be strong at all times to lead this nation.....period.

    January 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Rob


    Funny, I wish the "media jockeys" would enforce a caps-lock filter.

    January 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Helena B.

    I feel that Hillary is having a menopausal episode. First she was yelling at John Edwards at the N.H. debates and now she is crying for votes. Give me a break. I understand that she is a woman but if she wants to become the next president (which I pray she wont) she needs to put her emotions in check. I also feel that she is trying to get sympathy votes, come on ,she wasn't crying when she was ahead and now we see the waterworks. OBAMA ALL THE WAY!

    January 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. teresa

    C'mon give her a break. It's good to see someone so passionate about what she believes. I don't know how you all can be so sure that these are crocodile tears. I applaude her HONEST reaction!

    January 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Margaret, Phx, Arizona

    I think it is sad what we democrats are doing,being duped by hype, fancy speeches, although inspiring, short on substance. The republicans must be giddy as we prepare to hand over the presidency to them for eight more years.

    All one has to do is look at the hatred toward illegal immigrants to realize how racism is embedded in our country. And you seriously think that a black man can win???? Be real ! This country is not ready for a woman or a black man as president. I saw a stupid piece on CNN this morning stating that we are colorblind because of Obama's popularity. What crap. It is just a bunch of democrats who want to be hip and say they voted for a black man. Pathetic.

    What is even more sad is that Hillary is probably the only democrat that could do the job and do it well, hatred for women in this country will prevent her and any other woman from getting anywhere. We promote hurting, raping and killing women every day with songs, on television and the movies. Women don't have a chance in this country.

    Get ready for the republicans to win again. Somewhere, Carl Rove is smiling, he couldn't have scripted a better scenario.

    January 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Lucy McIntire

    Tears or no tears, you can't trust Hillary as far as you can throw her. I don't think anyone has to try to humilate Hillary. She has no conscience so that can't happen.

    January 7, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. MaryK

    I am absolutely astounded at how petty some people can be and I am definitely not talking about Hillary.

    Remember some basic psychology, folks, that when you criticize another person, you care often describing yourself.

    Nobody knows the issues like Hillary and, as far as I am concerned, nobody has given more for her country than Hillary (and that includes John McCain).

    January 7, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. adam

    if she cries when she's thown a softball (scripted?) question like "how do you like do it when like it seems so like hard and all?", then she should not be in this race.

    she is absolutely imploding (which CNN tries to hide).

    between her shrillness at the debate and tearing up, she would get eaten alive in November.

    she is going to get blown away in NH and SC. Any reasonable candidate would pack it in for the good of the party. i will give her credit if she does that...

    January 7, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. J Williamson Buffalo, NY

    Hillary is human – just like the rest of us. To those in the press, I'd caution you about doing an "Ed Muskie" type-story here. (For those much younger folks – unlike myself – Sen Muskie was the leading candidate in the early presidential polls in 1972. He had what was the press perceived as a "break-down" after appearing to cry during a campaign stop. His campaign went quickly "south" and he never recovered.)

    January 7, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Scott

    There were one of two things happening here:

    1) It was genuine. If so, the job only gets more difficult ahead. Campaigning in New Hampshire is the EASY part. If you crack there, what can we expect ahead?

    2) It was yet the latest in the hyper-managed Clinton campaign and if so, it's not only a reason NOT to vote for her, it's grossly offensive because she would have been playing the gender card is the most crass way. Should we vote for you because we feel sorry for you?

    Either way, this Independent in California will not be voting for HRC.

    January 7, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. reaper

    Don't worry Republicans- you won't have to face her in the general election. You'll get your black guy with a muslim name. Easy pickings for you.

    January 7, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Bozena Brzezinska

    I don't support any of the candidates at this point; however, I am disgusted by the obvious negative coverage of Ms. Clinton and the absurd generosity bestowed by the media toward Mr. Obama. Isn't it time for equal scrutiny?

    January 7, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Gayle

    I find it reprehensible and revolting that John Edwards would respond to Mrs. Clinton's emotional response by acting as though emotions destroy her ability to govern effectively. I say that is precisely what we need and have never had – an honest emotional response! There isn't a woman I know who hasn't had an emotional response and I am insulted by Edwards' response.

    January 7, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. lk

    It's amazing how all these men, including John Edwards, implicitly states that women aren't allowed to be emotional. This is exactly why Hillary has been "rough" on the edges, so people wouldn't accuse her of being too "womanly."
    It's impossible for me to believe, knowing women since I am one, that a woman would actually cry on purpose to receive sympathy. ALL women I know refuse to cry in front of anyone so that nobody says all of the sexist comments posted above!

    January 7, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. JJ, Cleveland, OH

    I am a woman, and what few feminist sensibilities I have, Hillary offends every one. If she's "ready from Day 1" as she insists, she needs to suck it up like the boys do. She realized a little too late she has been far too plastic during the campaign. Unfortunately, this attempt to show her humanity largely rings hollow. Everyone is entitled to a modest "meltdown" now and then, but this was not the time nor the place, and that she would continue to insult the intelligence of those whose votes she's willing to pay for by this ridiculous display is disgraceful at best. I have no intention of voting for Obama, but if I had to choose between him and Hillary–and perhaps such a choice involved a gun pointed at my head–I'd choose the 12 year old Senator from Illinois. He might not be "ready" (a part time job in the Senate for the last 3 years does not make him qualified), but she is not now, nor will ever be, the answer. Clinton politics–thankfully–are the past. God willing, brighter days are ahead.

    January 7, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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