January 7th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
9 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. Simone

    Hilary Clinton, unfortunately, is going to get a political beat down because she is a woman. Her response was emotional? Yes it was. But her detractors are using the fact that she is a woman, as if it is a disease which affects her ability to maintain her composure, as the reason for her supposed emotional response. Its tough for her to remain firm and be passionate and not come across as an over bearing woman or a softy. Hilary has to do twice the work of her male counterparts. She has to defend her position on her issues while she is campaigning for the toughest job in America AND she has to keep her "womanliness" in check. Its unfair.

    January 7, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Jennifer

    There are several posts that say what I'm feeling. If she shows no emotion, she's too calculating and too hard as a woman, she's "manish". If she shows emotion, she's losing it or it's calculated. Now what I DO think she needs is a better pr person. She's a woman. She needs to start wearing skirt suits to set herself apart. Instead of defending herself she should turn the tables on the CLEARLY in-experienced other candidates.

    You can't have it both ways. She's one or the other so pick one. I am an African-American Woman and I am voting for Hillary and never changed my opinion.

    I think Obama could be groomed for great leadership in the future, but not this time. As several have stated above my post, yes he speaks change...What else does he have to go on? Yes, he points out Hillary's "flip-flopping" b/c he hasn't been around long enough for his votes to count on anyhthing signficant.

    And for all the people saying she flip-flops on her decisions (I personally like to think she as all of us in this world are allowed to simply change our minds without being called flip-floppers) HOW MANY PEOPLE AFTER 9/11 THOUGHT A WAR WAS NOT ONLY THE BEST DECISON BUT THE ONLY DECISON!?!?!?!?!?

    See Hillary is NOT the first or the ONLY person to have felt we needed to go to war. BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY!!!! Wasn't that MOST of ther AMERICAN'S feeling on this subject?!?!?!? For the first time, black, white, democrat, republican, EvERYONE WANTED A WAR!!! WE WANTED THEIR HEADS AND BLOOD!!!! It seemed like a grand idea....So........we went to war......NOW the war isn't turning out with the results ANY OF US expected.....So who's to blame?? Now it's Hillary...She's the only one who's a flip-flopper.....I see......So for all the other flip-floppers ( WHO ARE CERTAINLY ON THIS BLOG I'M SURE BUT ARE TOO COWARDLY TO ADMIT IT) It takes one to now one.

    Hillary has the personal attacks on her that one of the other candidates have to deal with so yes, I'm sure she's allowed to have a moment of weakness or emotion.
    I think Obama is too "young" in his experience....And what people have to also consider is looking PAST the democratic election.....Nevermind if Obama can beat Hillary....But one you get him, can he beat the REPUBLICANS? Be careful what you ask for as you may get it in a form you're not quite ready for. A woman in Pakistan Bhutto was just MURDERED for wanting "change" for her country and we can't even get behind and support the one woman we have trying to make the same effort for us. For all of those with negative comments, RUN FOR OFFICE OR SHUT IT!

    Hillary 08

    January 7, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Shae Smith


    From those that know her Hillary is a "nice" "warm" woman – its not coming across to the public. I would like to support the first woman President (I am an African American woman).

    I want to believe she can make changes – but the time for "change" is not during your campaign – it makes her seem undone by Obama's impact. Is there a way for Obama to have his own impact and for her to carve her own WITHOUT demolishing his accomplishments?

    I need a reason to vote FOR Hillary – not AGAINST her opponents. There is something to be said for being gracious to acknowledge that he is leading change by bringing new voters to Iowa... and without diminishing that.... highlight what Hillary WILL DO for America.

    On the question of attitude of "entitlement" – it would help if she spoke about America and its people instead of her consistent "I should be president message". Where are the American people in her message??? This position is making Obama more authentic.

    In response to her and Bill Clinton’s indictment of the media’s coverage – to that I say look at the impact Obama is having. If she is so “experienced” how is it that Obama is having a bigger impact? Wouldn’t her experience be able to generate this? She is not focusing on her own campaign but centrally on combatting his movement. There is no real substance behind her message other than the typical political campaign rhetoric. Her "experience" should have told her that the people would want to be inspired....

    "Change" your message Hillary. Please. She can't fight Obama saying you've been in Washington for 35 YEARS. Who is advising you thats the way to go in the midst of Obama's constant rising poll numbers?!

    Put simply its true that Obama's movement is largely based on a "feeling" he is creating. But on the contrary you are touting 35 years of change that people cannot see or feel from you. BILL's accomplishments ARE NOT HERS!!!!!

    .... just my two cents

    January 7, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Paul Cooper

    I certainly do not want a president who cries every time asks her who does her hair. If she wasn't that old I would have excused her for being on her period and being emotional. BTW, that's another reason not to have Hillary controlling nuclear buttons.

    January 7, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. bill

    where's Edmund Muskie when you need him?

    January 7, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. dennis

    I always rember that when you make a women cry, it is not that she is weak, it is she is sorry for the pain you are about to suffer.

    If they nominate Mr. Obama I will vote republican or not at all. Try that for change! Either McCain Or Or Rudy. Remember also RudydDid not run in Iowa, and New Hampture

    January 7, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Martha Bilton

    Hilary Clinton is not really angry, she is expressing her strongness, her strength.
    Just because she is a woman, lets not be so quick to call her expressions anger.
    If it was a man, you would have no complaint.You would call him tough and
    strong. Lets call her tough and strong. she is.

    January 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Missy

    Finally. A politician with some real sense. I'm sorry, but I'm so glad someone can see that this country – THIS WORLD is going in the craphole. We have to do something about it. A better education for our children should be the most important thing. I meet so many people who have graduated college and can't spell or even manage in the field that they've spent six years trying to master. Also, shut up about the tears. Yeah, anyone can cry, but obviously she was trying to hold it back. She shouldn't have wasted her tears on people like you who probably didn't get a great education and don't even know how to appropriately ridicule someone else. Learn your enemy and yourself before you even think about trying to talk smack about our future president. This is going down in history. I bet she wins, triumphs, and leaves others in the dust just trying to drag her down. She handled her personal hardships so well in the past and pulled through them with flying colors – managing to keep herself and her family together. I don't think I could've done it. But here she is. GO HILARY!

    January 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    This was probably another planted question for her.

    January 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Lee Chang, Surrey, Canada

    I am a Canadian and looking at you Americans – you dont know that you got the real one in Hiliary Clinton. But no, you see and believe the likes of Obama with FAKe and LAZYNESS written all over the face, a person who falls in love with their own rhetoric sounds hollow. And a senator who does not vote and try to condemn someone who does on important issues is a phony, and pure lazy.

    Lee Chang

    January 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. nikki.patti@yahoo.com

    Obama gives a wonderful speech and is highly inspirational. But this country can not be turned around simply because our president is a good speaker and makes wonderful promises. I am not sold on Obama yet, I want him to describe how he foresees carrying out these wonderful plans he has for our nation. Hillary has a proven track record and experience to boot, and the strength and fortitude to lead this country. Either way, we need a Dem to win or this country will go even further backward,

    January 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Jeff, Boston MA

    parfor the course


    Hillary is a joke. Everything she has done for the last 10+ years has been an act. Not to say that any politician doesnt pander in the same ways, but dont think that she is being genuine or that people making fun of her crying is in some way taking away from her right to run. It is important to note that she is crying in response to a question with little to no impact on anything and it is still 10 months from the election. She is in the midst of trying to convince the american public that she has the backbone to stand up to 4 years of pressure. I think she needs to hire a better PR thinktank before she does anymore "reaching out". Any CANDIDATE that folds under this type of stress is a joke and it should be noted by the general public that this is indicative of the type of leader they will be.

    BOO HOO, lets change the world, BOO HOO bring home the troops, BOO HOO dont pick on me, BOO HOO congress please approve universal healthcare.

    January 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Ron Larson

    Ahhh yes...the terars, I wondered when, she was going to be given the "opportunity" to display emaotions. Kind of like when her husband demonstrates his quite low voice, and tells us he "feels our pain. He Hillary it's personal for us as well. We aren't interested in a candidate who attacks those who would confront your sexual predoator husband, so that you can silence those who can demonstrate that politically and personally you and Bill are frauds, and now even those in your party are starting to be tired of the duplicitous positions and your outright lying that you and the "Comeback Kid" announce. And now the ned is near, and you have no one to blame but yourself.

    January 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. The Truth, Anywhere, USA

    Ok joe,

    Calm down buddy. First Hillary has no experience as she was not the president for the past 35 years. Second, all you HRC supporters get so upset. Stop it already. Don't be mad. Third, stop with all the false rhetoric. obama did drugs. Yes he did. When he was young though. People make mistakes and this country is very forgiving if you admit to it. Unlike our past presidents who lied outright. You guys and gals in the HRC camp always amaze me. You guys are the most hateful people I have seen/heard/read. You are like your candidate very hateful and angry. Anger gets nowhere so please, if you have to be ignorant and cave man like please do it in another country because your opinions are not wanted nor are they respected.

    January 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Jay Graham, Dallas, TX

    It is so sad that the media is burying Hillary. They are not giving any weightage to her talent and knowledge on national matters. Republicans love to have Obama as democrat nominee who will be easily beaten against McCain. Lots of democrats told me that they are going to vote McCain if he is the republican nominee. I thought NH voters have their own mind and will always vote the front runner from earlier polls. But, looks like we have a republican in the white house again.

    January 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Darren

    Looks to me like the biggest haters here are the *Democrats*, not just Obama or Edwards supporters. The hatred you people feel towards President Bush dwarfs anything the Obama supporters, or anyone else, is saying about Hillary Clinton.

    Doctor, heal thyself. If you want to change the tone, start with yourselves.

    January 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Eric U.--Minnesota

    I ALWAYS thought Hillary was a sneaky politician (many, or most, are). But in terms of running the country, Obama or Edwards would, in my opinion, be stable leaders.

    January 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Sherry

    Why is it such a big deal that Hillary got a bit emotional? That shows she is human not weak. Was it a big negative when Edwards got emotional about his wife having a relapse of cancer or when Al Gore got emotional in front of the Democratic convention? No it wasn't. So why is CNN giving this WOMAN bad media. I'm not waving the sexism flag but gimme a break!

    January 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Patrick

    WOW – Lets face it..... the only thing Hillary is going to get with many Americans is a very BAD time for being human. Some of you represent so many of the problems we have in this country ( no wonder we are where we are ) Let her be the strong individual that she is and just get use to the fact that she WILL be our next President. ( but im sure the media will continue to beat on her over every/anything!)

    January 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Gladys

    Hillary Clinton is an intelligent and inspiring woman. We need her as president.
    A different kind of change as campaigned on could lead us from bad to worse.
    Think about it.

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

    I am confused. Many posters here are talking about Obama being untested while defending Hillary.

    She is in the start of her second term of the first political office she has ever held.

    How exactly, is she more "tested" than Obama who held a state office before he was elected to the Senate?

    Last time I checked we elected William Jefferson Clinton not Hillary to anything. All she did was marry the president. The resume is very thin unless you just take her at her word.

    January 7, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. G.P

    Mockery of Hillary is sickening. Americans are easily impressive...can someone tell me what Obama is going to change and how?

    January 7, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Jason of indianapolis

    Crying at one moment and being angry publically the other is not going to win this. so what would u do if elected and faced with the Iranians or the Koreans, cry ur way out of it. Lol, We would be the laughing stock of the entire world.

    January 7, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. AJ

    I think Hillary shows her meaness by implying that she was the only one who can do the job, and others disqualify for it...She went too much negetive in her campaign, I think it will definitely be hard to come back...

    January 7, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Rox

    After reading all these posts ... it kind of underscores what HRC's problem is, no one seems to know if she's acting or not. Maybe (maybe not ...), she did get emotional because it's starting to dawn on her that running a REAL campaign is hard, and her coronation wasn't so inevitable as she, and her staff, thought it was.

    From her handlers-> Okay, Hillary, today we want you to go out and be (pick one):

    1. Tough
    2. Serious
    3. Funny
    4. Emotional
    5. Likeable
    6. Thoughtful
    7. Political

    Oh, and use the (fill in the blank from below) voice :

    1. Midwestern
    2. New Yawker
    3. Southern drawl
    4. Motherly

    She is the Chameleon Candidate who doesn't have a clue right now. But she who lives by the polls, dies by the polls.

    January 7, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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