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. The Craziness Continues

    A lot of comments out there about how tired all these candidates are .... well, too bad. When did the insanity start that the presidential election cycle starts right AFTER the last election in November, 2006?! All of these guys and gal couldn't wait to declare they were running for president in November or December, 2006. It was almost a race to see who declared first. Me too! Me too! Me too! I'm running too!

    The presidential candidates used to declare in late summer or early fall of the year before the actual election. What next? We'll see candidates declare for the 2012 prez election in November, 2008?! This is insanity, and how did we get here .....

    January 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. Barbara

    I have said it all along: no matter how strong the female, she will ALWAYS be emotional-and that does not work with politics. There is NO place in government for an 'outward' display of emotions unless warranted (i.e. 9/11)

    THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS. If that question upset her, or I should say moved her can you imagine what will happen when she's presented with a real set of issues? Ee-gads!

    January 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. Lucy`

    Well, we have a mess on our hands. There isn't one candidate worth a plug nickel on either side.

    January 7, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. Julie


    Common girls...she is intelligent-strong-quick and yes she is human. She's a mother, a sister, a wife. After all she has been trought the past years all americans should know by now that she is capable of holding it together and move on. She is the only real change. All the others we have seen before. The I have a dream speech is very nice but that doesn't prove anything to me exept that you are a good talker. And actually I like Obama, felt in love the first time I saw him on tv. But HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE!!
    II just don't get the women side on this..are you jealous ladies???

    We all know she would make a very good president . Go see her records..it speeks for itself.
    If you want to change america..Then hillary is your answer.

    January 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. S. Wright

    "Look where the John Wayne "tough cowboy" mentality has got us."

    Ok, let's look. Had any crazy Islamicists blow up anything in your town since 9/11?

    Tell ya what, Scully. Why don't you go over to where all those John Wayne(s) are protecting you, spend a few months, come back here, and see if you can deride them for protecting your liberty.

    I'll take John Wayne over your Oprah in dealing with terrorists any day of the week.

    January 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. linda hemmingsen

    i just can't believe you people!!!!!!!!!!!!! what a bunch of idiots! 578 comments for hillary bashing her! andnone for anyone else. what does that say it says people you are being played and you are so stupid you are falling for it! i am a canadian thank God! you were stupid enough to elect george bush twice because you thought he could bring america together wrong he was worse than any president in history it was my way or the highway mentality. Here you are again, getting wrapped up in the frenzy of obama and you can't see what is happening.No republican is going to support him at the real election they are experts at this. they are manipulating the polls to get the weakest in. have you yet got off your ass and seen the web site for ombamas church , scary stuff!!!!!!!!!! and what experience has he had at being a iuniter in the senate he hardly has been their. at least hillary was working with republicans and in new york. she would make the best president ever the world know it but you people just can't see the forest for the trees . look at all the ugly ugly remarks they are so unnecessary and most are bull. is this really american people i think this is the karl rove smear machine. according to you all she can't even breathe right. she is way above the whole lot of you, and i guarrantee that you will wish you hadn't made the choice you did when you loose another election.even the media is smashing her and saying she is finished . why she is leading in the nationals. before you vote find out about obamahillary was talking change way before him everyone does but the change is the bush era. the clinton era was a good one and i as a canadian would love it again so there will be peace and prosperity everywhere again what you decide affects everyone.

    January 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. dwilson

    I am really amazed at how the media has blown Hillary's "emotional" moment out of proportion. I assumed from reading the article and hearing people in the media discuss what happened that she must have been sobbing. I am so sick of the pettiness of pundits and the other Democratic candidates that I'm seriously considering voting for John McCain in SC. I will not vote for Obama or Edwards as I've been turned off by their snide remarks. Obama lost my vote with his "peevish" "you're likeable enough, Hillary" remark in the last debate. His stumbling, wishy-washy and weak response to the immigration question in the debate before (the same question that he accused Hillary of not being able to answer in a previous debate) had already given me pause. I have real concerns about who the next President will be. The person doesn't have to be likeable. The person has to be smart and yes, experienced. At this time I'm undecided, but I do know I'm not voting for someone who talks a good game but has little to show for it. I've watched every single Democratic debate, and as far as the issues are concerned, Hillary Clinton is the only one who has gained my confidence. I can at least see what she's accomplished.

    January 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. Pat

    It is like a breath of fresh air to see a candidate show that they are human, like Hillary did in explaining why she wants to be president. This candidate is in the race, heart and soul. Big brave men aren't you edwards and obama for ganging up on Hillary. It's time to get a woman in the White House who WILL do something.
    Let's see if I remember right that President Reagan was an emotional president but he wasn't put down because he was a man. He has been the only President who was in my opinion- HUMAN. Thank God we have Hillary who really loves this country and WILL help our country.

    Thank you Hillary for giving us women hope to finally get out from under the thumb of men!

    January 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. rufus

    Is Obama black? I though he was mixed race.

    January 7, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Sam

    I feel that a Hillary white house would be a Clinton White house behind the scenes. It will be like Clinton got the presidency for a 3rd time only this time he had a veil called Hillary. IMHO.

    January 7, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  11. Sara

    "She was just showing her human side" Please....welcome to the messy game of politics. Bad move for Hilary! We are talking about the President of the United States people! Women are emotional by nature, there is no other "political way" to say it. Besides when Bushy gets emoitional about "real stuff" media rips him. Too bad, so sad for Hilary!

    January 7, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. Peggy

    My first comment was after reading the article about Sen. Clinton getting emotional after being asked a question about her hair. I have already made my comment on that article. I have since seen the video feed. It is my opinion that Sen. Clinton was very cool and composed even if perhaps teary eyed. I think she is just so passionate that it just so happened to be expressed that way. She is right. This country is a mess. We need a strong knowledgeable President that will accept counsel from those she or he has chosen. Our economy has never been better since President Clinton was in office. I believe she loves this country that much. I believe she is capable to implement the tools that will head us in the right direction. I guess in the alternative, if a man had answered a question he was so passionate about. He would have raised his voice and beat his hand on the podium with the raised voice ending in a whisper and his head bowed. Perhaps that would be more socially acceptable. Sen. Clinton is a genuine hard working smart intelligent woman that is ready to assume the office of President. Don't mistake passion for weakness.

    January 7, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. Sean

    I think Hilary is too cold and not likeable enough. Plus, there is no crying in politics. We need a president that is isnt going to tear up when someone asks here a question. OBAMA!

    January 7, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. A new American Citizen

    Bush ( don't forget about Jeb)
    Clinton ( Roger, cause why not and Chelsea would still be too young)
    Bush ( Laura)
    Clinton ( Chelsea)
    Bush ( Jenna or Barbara)

    This could go on forever....we need a CHANGE.


    January 7, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. jeff nyc

    Is that the reaction we can expect if they decide to attack us? Hillary goes to her press conference and cries until the threat is thwarted. Please don't attack us us, boo-hoo.

    January 7, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. PL


    January 7, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. Koen Gubbels

    As a European, I am really shocked by the broad display of hatred by Americans towards Hillary Clinton. Never have I seen a candidate, any candidate, seen so attacked by all sides – GOP, democrats, general public.

    In my opinion it is only human that she has an emotional moment regarding the pressure and negativity she must endure. She´s not an actor, she´s a human being. Does anyone know that JFK had been crying in bed, deeply depressed for days, during the Cuban Missile Crisis? And it isn´t he one the best American presidents of the past 50 years? Better that than a macho president who claims to have a hotline with God when taking policy decisions.

    Come on Americans, lay off the hatred and base you arguments on reason and leave the animosity at home.

    January 7, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. Jamie

    I just watched a clip on ABC news of the debate on Saturday where Hillary "attacked" Edwards. Give me a break. That was not an attack. She barely raised her voice. She defended herself well. She was well spoken and firm. The problem is that most Americans don't know how to deal with a woman. When she is strong she is a B#$%. When she shows a teeny, tiny bit of emotion she is a bawl baby. She barely shed a tear in that interview in New Hampshire. She didn't break down and start hyper-ventilating. She showed that she is a human being. Why can't women be respected as strong, intelligent people capable of leading a family, business, or country. Why does America have to continue this discrimination and hate of Women.

    January 7, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. Katie

    you know its really sad that im hearing from alot of posters that Obama has united America and we no longer see the color of his skin and I think thats great America needs to wake up and realize that race doesnt matter. But then I read all of the sexist comments about Hiliary Clinton and I realize that nope America still has its problems.

    January 7, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. Dawn

    We want someone in the White House that we can rely on and not someone that
    pouts and can't handle situation's when the need arises and puts on an act to show her emotional side and how many years she has ahead of her.You know she never did do anything for us here in Upstate Ny ,always and only in New York City
    Don't be fooled with her as she is now borrowing words from our other candidates such as personal and changes can't she think for herself , this is not for us.
    She does put on a good act,if that is what you call it.
    Let's not be fooled with the Clinton's ,do we really want them back in the White House
    Please really think of what's ahead.and put a MAN BACK IN THE WHITE HOUSE
    Just because Hillary wants to be the first woman PRESIDENT elect ,doesn't mean that we should vote for her,There are a lot of things in this life I want to and we don't always get what we want
    Let's be smart about this
    Barack Obama is the choice

    January 7, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Steve

    Ready means not sobbing or choking up when you speak. This is not what the people expect when "things get rough". One more reason to jump on the Obama Express.

    January 7, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. Obamagirl

    For the past 20 years, all we've had leading this country is BUSHES and CLINTONS. There is a NEED for change! I don't think I'd be able to stand having a Clinton in office for 4 years or more. And believe me, even if she were to get the presidential bid, there is NO way she would become the next president. I guarantee it. I am all for having a woman president, but I personally cannot see the nation voting for a woman as president at this time...maybe sometime in the future, but not now – especially with the horrible predicament we are in now in Iraq. We are more likely to vote in a black president before a women. That is just how our nation works.

    January 7, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. Mary Di Antonio

    Mrs. Clinton has my vote all the way. She is the one who really truely cares enough to try to make some good changes in our country. She cares about everyone and not just the rich. She will be fair to all. I will do anything I possibly can to see her elected as President of this wonderful Country.
    Thank You

    January 7, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. Roberto

    Choosing Obama or Edwards in the surest quickest way to continue to have a Republican in the white house.

    January 7, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Jill

    She's not crying over her hair. She's crying because people criticize everything about her, including her hair. She's crying because she has to put up with that b.s. when people should be concerned about the future of this country. She's crying because people are going to naively vote for "hope" over substance. She's crying because she's tired.

    How many times have we seen male politicians tear up? It's certainly not unheard of. But because she's Hillary, and because she's a woman, people are going to make a big deal about it. Deny it all you want, sexism is alive and well in America.

    January 7, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
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