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. Rox

    HRC is the one who said she had the strength AND experience to stand up to the Republican attack machine. Gee, she isn't even weathering the Duhmocratic attack machine!

    In Iowa, just about a month ago today -> "Well, now the fun part starts," Clinton said in kicking off the week with a new round of attacks on Obama ......

    Gee, it doesn't look like Hillary's having any fun lately.

    January 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Chris

    Can't everyone figure out this is all to take back the female vote?

    All of the women have stepped up to defend Hillary. Look at the names of the posters here.

    Look at the attention. Clinton is back at her old tricks. This is quite hard shelled. She doesn't normally shed tears unless with purpose.

    January 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Jalen

    I'm 15 yrs old and have been interested in politics since 9/11.
    Sen. Clinton's crying will NOT be good for the country if she is elected. Her lack of control of her emotions will not be unnoticed by middle eastern leaders who already negate women to a secondary role. I believe this shows extreme weakness and frankly don't believe it is real. I think she is trying every last dirty trick to win. She went down in iowa, she's losing in other states, and dshe is DESPERATE.
    And for the people who say she has the experience to be president... let's look at what experience is.
    Experience is what one has done in the past.
    Throughout her years in the Senate she has done nothing but authorize every Bush foreign policies including the IRAQ WAR.
    She is not nor will she ever be ready to be President. They should try to revive the so called Clinton dynasty elsewhere.

    January 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. kcn

    Since when is crying a sign of weakness? It's simply a reaction to stress – as is laughing, yelling, kicking things, eating too much and biting ones nails. Yeah, yeah, women cry more easily than men – in general. So what? Men yell, scream, curse and bully more than women in general. Which is nicer? And how important is nice in a president? Many of you criticize Mrs. Clinton for being too hard, too cold and too...well, man-like. Make up your minds.
    Mrs. Clinton has set an example for all women and for every person whoever aspired to something the rest of the world said couldn't be done. If it weren't for the Hillary's of the world, there would be no Barak's. Personally, I'd love to see them share a ticket. Talk about something completely different.

    January 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Angela Fl

    By the way ...even if the race turns out to be a wash for Obama or Edwards...I bet they'll SUCK IT up and play for the team. You won't see them crying!! Hillary quit crying and run with your head up. I AM TOTALLY SHOCKED!

    January 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Peggy G. Sapir

    We never know what has happened in anothers personal life. Like you are I, it could be so many things. I do not believe that Sen. Clinton was responding emotionally to the comment regarding her hair. Remember when her husband was President? Sen. Clinton's "hairdo's" were always critiqued and not always kind. The then Mrs. Clinton always had the dignity not respond to such petty talk. So, I dare say that the comment about her hair had her emotional. Sen. Clinton is an intelligent, bold, experienced politician. She was always available to assist President Clinton if he asked for said assistance during his terms. I believe her time in the White House with President Clinton was invaluable experience. If Sen. Clinton was a he and not a she, she would not get half of the woe we see here. She will make an excellent President.
    As for Obama, I think he would make a great President one day. However, Obama owes himself and our country more experience. He should spend another term in the Senate gaining knowledge. I would vote for him if he did that.
    It's time for someone that really knows our constitution and will adhere to it to be elected. It is time for someone that really knows our judiciary laws and will adhere to them to be elected. Sen. Clinton has always appeared nothing but strong intelligent and believable. Forget about the "emotional hair question" it is a nothing story when you look at the whole woman.

    January 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Randolph Monroe, Chicago

    Y'all don't pay Hillary no nevermind, she's on the rag.

    January 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Soldier's Dad

    Reading these comments is depressing. No other candidate is so demonized as Hillary–why is that? She's too cold and hard, we hate her. Now she shows some emotion, we hate her. The other candidates can change position on important issues (right to life, Mitt?) and alter their campaigns to try to speak to the folks whose votes they want–and no one says anything about them with such personal venom as is said about her. My guess is that most of you who spew such hatred toward her know very little about her background or experience, or even participate much in the political process until there's a big ol' bandwagon to jump on.
    I am a black man, I will not vote for Obama–if he gets the nomination I will for the first time in my life vote Republican. He is unproven, inexperienced and not who we need to be the leader of the free world in this day and time.
    Whether I vote for Hillary has yet to be determined, but with the media's disdain for her and with folks so personally attacking her, it makes me want to take a closer look. What are you so afraid of?

    January 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. Lynn

    My thought is that the difficulty of gender in this election goes both ways. If Hillary Clinton plays it too tough, she's "cold;" and if she cries, she's "too soft." But if the male candidates go after her, in the same way she's gone after them, they're seen as sexist because they're being too hard on her, or they're "ganging up" on her.

    If one of the male candidates were to tear up because they were losing, they would be absolutely finished. But because Ms. Clinton does it, we're supposed to think it's charming and we're supposed to have a soft spot for her because she's a woman. Of all the candidates in this race I believe the election is most "personal" to John Edwards. But if he were to cry it sure wouldn't be charming. Nobody can win this whole gender thing.

    As a woman, I don't see the criticisms of Ms. Clinton being based on the fact that she's a woman (well, except for the comment about the Hershey bar and the Midol, which I kinda laughed at because my guess is that she's old enough that she doesn't have to worry about that any more). I see them being based on the fact that she is Hillary Clinton. A lot of wacked stuff happened during the previous Clinton campaigns and presidency. A lot of undeserving people were pardoned, a lot of people paid to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom, and who knows what all else happend. Most significantly, though, I didn't see Ms. Clinton sticking up for any of the women who were villified as "liars" and part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" because they claimed to have had sex with her husband. Ms. Clinton put them down just as much as everybody else involved in the campaign and presidency did. Is that feminism? She sure didn't stick up for the rights of those women, and she had to know that her husband was a first-class philanderer.

    I simply find it insulting that anyone thinks that because I'm a woman, I should stick up for, or vote for, Hillary Clinton, or that I'm somehow abandoning the cause of equal rights for women by not doing so. That's a crock. The whole point behind the women's rights movement was that we get to vote, and that we get to vote for whomever we choose. I choose not to vote for Hillary Clinton because of what she has done in the past. If she claims to have experience based on her husband's presidency, then she has to bear the burden of that presidency. Some good things happened then, but in so many ways it was a prelude to all of the shenanigans of the Dubya presidency. And I don't want to go there any longer.

    January 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Ennis

    Hey parforthecourse, You can DEMAND respect all day long but respect must be EARNED!!!!!

    January 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Joe

    Did half of you even watch the clip?

    Talk about a bunch of bull – from you all – NOT Clinton.

    First, she didn't "break down" in a wallowing mess (as some of you would like us all to believe). She said what she was feeling and even smiled a bit. It doesn't take much (just a human heart) to see it was just a little bit of emotion release, which I'd expect from anyone who is probably getting by on 4 hours of sleep a night for over a week.

    Did anyone else notice how tired ALL of the candidates were in the debates this weekend? Love them or hate them these people are putting themselves out there asking to be our leader for the next 4 years.

    Sadly, the cynicism reeking in the US right now will probably prevent an actual normal discussion of strengths and weaknesses of any candidate or either party. And, then, when we do get turned on, we get swept up on fervent emotions like some "savior" is going to sweep in and solve all our problems. If you don't think that isn't a recipe for disaster, try opening up a history book sometime.

    I think its disgusting how people are piling on about this little 2-minute clip. Give her a break.

    January 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Pat Sexton

    Give me a break. Who among us has never cried or almost cried when all of our hard work was not working for us? Has anyone never had stress? I am not even a supporter of Hillary Clinton, but I have been in her shoes, when my business closed because of a neighbors fire, when I had to fight for my mothers life, when I had to get a divorce. If our country has become so insensitive to the feelings and emotions of its people we are all in trouble.

    January 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Kimberly Peacock

    It‘s amazing to me that with little real evidence the crowd is willing to rip a person apart. The people that instigate, agitate, and accuse, say look out for that person over there, when we should be looking at the accuser. How many innocents suffered at the hands of the inquisitors? Nothing has changed from then until now. People can throw mud, and even if false some of it will stick. People shout out lies and point their crooked fingers at Hillary and care little about truth. They get a perverse sense of joy bringing someone down. They feel inspired. I guess it’s true, if the same lie is repeated often enough, it becomes truth. Hillary is a good person and if she has a fault it is in trying too hard. As a woman if she shows an emotional side, she is weak. She is smart and in this day of misleading by making emotional appeals she insists on making a rational argument. I think the biggest problem in U.S. politics today, is that we do not demand more from candidates. When is the last time a noted scientist was elected to public office? Where are our modern day Madison’s or Franklin’s? We rarely elect a person of ideas, who will implement real change into public office. I myself am having a hard time separating emotion from rational choice. As a woman who is in her 40’s, I do think it’s time for a woman to be President. I’m sure Obama supporters feel that it’s time to have a non-white man in the Oval Office to represent the diversity of modern America. What does it say about America when we will vote for any man as long as it’s not a woman? Obama talks about unity and it’s a wonderful idea. The problem is that ideologically I am passionate about Personal Liberty, and Free Trade. What does free trade and economics have to do with freedom? Everything! Without financial strength we do not have freedom and are but indentured servants. Money does not buy happiness but it’s hard to be happy destitute and starving. A President can call for a bridge to be built. That bridge can be education, and investment. We are never going to compete with Chinese labor on a manual basis. We want a better standard of living. We can automate and use technology as leverage but that means that industry changes and jobs will be re-allocated. We need a bridge from here to there. We need to understand that most people are uncomfortable doing something new. It is why training and the support structure need to be built in. I do believe that anything is possible if we set a goal and work together. A pre-requisite of this is that people really understand the issues and act in best interest of the group instead of selfishly. This is amazingly difficult to do on a large scale. The media is part of the problem with the sound bites but its being mediated by the internet media. The problem is that American’s in general don’t read, don’t ask questions, and do not discuss ideas. Every American should have a basic understanding of economics? Why because it’s vital to our liberty? Why have the media not made teaching economics to all of an America a priority? It does not need to be dry and impersonal. The media can take the issues of the day and demonstrate why this economic data matters to them. If you were pitching a start-up company you would lay out your vision and also show a timeline with milestones. You would demonstrate your knowledge of the competition and where the industry is today. You would also submit a budget showing how you would allocate funds to achieve your objective. Why do we ask less from the President of our Country? No investor would let you get away with selling blue sky without providing the rational bridge between now and there. We should demand no less than those in charge of managing our public affairs.

    January 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. davidvoter08

    America needs Hillary. Wake up, voters. God blesses this counry

    January 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. lynne

    The Clinton's are Trailer Trash .......

    She is so phoney and she thinks we are morons?

    Please .....Let's spend time talking about serious contenders.

    January 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. GraceW

    Thanks to the media turning Obama's win in Iowa into a TKO, Hillary is on the defensive. I cry, laugh and get angry sometimes all in one day. What the heck is wrong with that? Hillary is being scrutinized like no other candidate in history. I am sorry she is so polarizing, because she is a good person and has the potential to be a great president.

    January 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. rufus

    "in this country it’s still O.K. to be sexist, but not to be racist."
    [wrote Geraldine Ferraro in the New York, Times Nov. 13, 2007]

    I cannot help but feel that there is an element of sexism in all of this because of the massive level of vitriol and double standards applied to Hillary...It's unseemly, and out of balance!

    January 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. wordnerd142

    I agree that running for president is stressful on the candidates, but c'mon! Crying? When's the last time someone cried during a job interview and was given the position? I know she's human, and I'm sure she cares about this country, but I don't want a president - man or woman - who can't handle his or her emotions when the going gets tough. If you can't handle the stress of running for office, how can we expect you to handle the stress when in office?

    January 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Stephanie

    Miss sally are you a no brainer? Obama is not a bully, he didn't bully anyone. Senator Clinton is the one who cause all of whatever is happening to her on her own self. If you can recall that she was the bully or in other words she was the one always attacking Obama and at times even Edwards. Did you see the debate on facebook. WAKE UP!!!!!

    January 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. sweetie

    Someone pass Hilly some tranquilizers and a beer....All Hilly/Bily want is another shot of *****POWER*****. I'm sick of them.

    January 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Beckie Zelisko

    In my personal opinion, when I first heard it, I thought it is a ploy to get our attention to make us feel bad for her.
    I watched the debate on ABC Saturday night and she was horrible, and think she could be a leader of our country. I think her aids are telling her she needs to be more personal, and I also think she is watching or someone close to her is watching the polls. I don't know how things will turn out, but from what I was hearing in the beginning of this race, she was going to win hands down and now she is having to work for it.....
    There has always been a competition between her and Bill and now she is having trouble and she may not win and she has to boo hoo!

    January 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Lisla Lee, Dallas, TX

    Early on I thought I could support EITHER Hillary or Obama.
    As time goes by, Obama shows me he is just another talking head. He really has NO record to run on if you really look closely. He talks a lot of talk, but when the rubber meets the road, he comes off as somewhat clueless. He appears to be a nice guy, but that's not what we're looking for here– we're looking for someone with presidential ability. Yeah, he's charismatic– but so was George Bush, and look where that got us. And I'm here to tell you, this old gal got ticked with the way Oprah was selling Obama to the public. Da– it, I don't need some TV millionaire telling me how to vote, especially considering that just a couple of years ago she made a big issue out of remaining neutral and not endorsing a candidate. I felt used by both Oprah and by Obama.
    I've read about and watched Hillary Clinton's career for a LONG time, and she is the better qualified candidate by a MILE. I think she's ready to hit the job running from day one. Her learning curve would be zero compared to Obama's. He'd spend the first year just trying to figure out what the he– he's supposed to be doing in the first place. So, now, about a year after this "race" all started, I'm supporting Hillary Clinton because she is the smarter, more experienced, better qualified, and best prepared candidate.
    Don't let us make another Bush mistake and elect someone who is just a pretty boy and a smooth talker. We need someone who can help right this country after the 8 disastrous years of GWB. I think Hillary Clinton is the right person for the job.

    January 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Nikki

    The economy was booming while Clinton was running the country. The middle class was strong, which shows how great we really were doing economically. We have been in Recession since 2001, which actually started in March 2001 long before 9/11. The middle class has been slowly disappearing since and I hear nothing about this. Also, the anger and bitterness is unnecessary. United we stand, divided we fall.

    January 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Lisa, Des Moines, IA

    The bloggers complaning that many of the commentst directed towards Hillary are sexist need to wake up...did you think sexism was magically going to disappear when Hillary decided to run for president? She will have to ride it out, just as Obama will have to ride out the racist comments, and Edwards will have to ride out the comments concerning his trial lawyer days or his so called expensive hair cuts.

    If she is not up to the task, perhaps she should not be running.

    January 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. NewPatriot-Arizona

    1989-1992 H.W BUSH
    1992-2001 BILL CLINTON
    2001-2009 W. BUSH
    2009-????? H. CLINTON

    Whats wrong this picture? bush,clinton,bush,clinton ... when is this dynasty going to end?

    January 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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