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. Fp

    Did you see and hear what Ms. Clinton said. Paraphrasing, MLK did not do anything president Johnson is the one who made legistration to help civil rights. That discounts all the people who died, it discounts MLK going to jail, it demeans MLK death. She suggested MLK did not do anything. Wow! This woman is so lame. Sorry to her supporters, but she is lame.

    January 7, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. Joe

    Why all the hype about Hillary's emotions? Because she's a woman? As it's been pointed out, many Presidents have had emotional moments and she shouldn't be held to higher scrutiny because of her gender. All the candidates look tired and worn at this point and emotions are expected to run high with all that's at stake in this election. I believe she's sincere in her desire to turn this country around.

    January 7, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. EF Goodness

    Crocodile tears.
    The voters should be insulted with her lame attempt to co-opt Edwards' line "..this is personal...". Such a phony. Luckily, she will never be President. I'm excited that Obama and Edwards will get more of the spotlight. I'd like to see a fight all the way to the convention despite the rigged primary/caucus structure.

    Obama v. Edwards and Giuliani v. Romey. Should be good theater and a great dialogue for the Country.

    January 7, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Dexter

    Obviously this was an act.

    Later, she had two hecklers planted in her audience with signs saying, 'Iron my shirt', so she could bring up the sexism issue.

    Both of these manufactured events are her trying to regain control of the female vote, nothing more.

    Sad, Hillary. Just sad.

    January 7, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Maxine Dorsette

    Oh, PLEASE! Crying over a bad hair day! Hillary isn't a good actress and she's a worse option for president. What would she do as president–cry when things got tough? Forget inviting Putin over to the White House for talks–his stern mug would make Hillary run for a hankie for sure. She'll do ANYTHING to get elected–cry or sell out to the Chineese...

    January 7, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. Bob - Florida

    Leave Hillary alooooooooone!

    She just wants to dooooo what's best for ????..... wants to do the best for .... ????

    the Precious!

    January 7, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. Joseph


    I really appreciate your comments, you were truely wonderful and to the point.

    I appreciate this. I was getting tired of all this bashing, particularly about her being emotional, first people call her cold and calculating, and called her to be more emotional, so she genuinely was, now it's being called an act. Now I understand what she means by double-standard, it's okay for men to cry – Bill did it many times, Bush, both the father and the son, Reagan, and so on – they all did it, but Hillary did once and it was teary-eyed not pouring rivers, suddenly she's being claimed incapable of being the commander in chief.

    Sad... truly sad. Women, please help end this bashing.

    January 7, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  8. Dale E

    Hillary is Awesome,
    It will be hard for her to overcome the charisma that Barack Obama demonstrates, however, if anyone can HIllary will. As a Democrat I am rooting and voting for Hillary but I am also excited for all of the Democratic candidates. Stay strong Hillary... our country needs you.

    January 7, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. steve

    How many of the people who post here that Hillary is not "fit to be president" because of a show of emotion have gladly given their support to George Bush, a man whose gross incompetence and arrogance has done more to damage this country than any president in the previous 50 years.

    Is the emotion real? Possibly. All of the posters here (myself included) seem to judge so easily even though we have no idea of the stress of one of these campaigns. In addition, the idea that feeling sad about the sad state of our country makes one unqualified to be president is truly sad.

    Here is the fundamental problem that almost everyone misses - if you start from a place where all you can see is what you are looking for, then you will almost always find it.

    Hillary is not our saviour or the antichrist, but something very much in between, and those who judge her so harshly as someone who only cares about poliical power is missing something. How much have YOU done to make the country better? No reasonable person can deny that the women has spent her whole life trying to make things better. Is that here only motivation? No way. But people are complicated in case you didn't notice...

    It is no different for George Bush, who I believe is a well meaning man who thinks he knows best even though it is clear that he knows very little about governing. Still, I give him credit for trying to make things better even as I hate the fact that he has been ALLOWED BY US to stay in a position where he could so much damage.

    The most dangerous thing here is not Hillary, and it is not Bush, but it is the over-the-top quick, prejudiced extreme judgments that seem so rampant in our red-blue country.

    Sure, it feels good to be so riled up and indignant and to make fun of Hillary, but those kind of unreasoned judgments are what will kill us all in the end.

    Ultimately, there is an objective truth out there. Some politicians are more competent and have more integrity than others, maybe we try and think a little more to find which ones can actually help the country go in a better direction....

    January 7, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  10. KR

    If she can't handle this how does she expect to handle the Presidency? She hasn't seen nothing yet! Will she break down, "get emotional" in front the the UN? that will sure do wonders for foreign affairs! As if we don't have enough problems in that area. More than likely it's another Clinton show for the voters, however, any voter with even half a brain should see right through it!

    January 7, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. sk

    Just a card up the sleeve to woo voters susceptible to emotions rather than sound judgement.

    The hard-ball player in so many occassions for prior elections (husband, self) is not to be taken easy.

    January 7, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  12. Bob

    the republicans are loving Obama because they know that white America will not vote a biracial man into the oval office~I guess we gotta stay Republican a bit longer because if Obama wins the nomination one of those sterling white men will be the new republican president~and I like Barack!

    January 7, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. Edutron

    I,ve read all of your posts, and the fact remains that by the very statements you people are making is the reason that this nation is slowly and truly falling to be taken and controlled by the very enenies that you people wish not to acknowledge.
    As a 33 year veteran Democrat, I will be voting Republican.

    January 7, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. All the way Hillary!

    Clearly if you are going to give an Emmy ... for best dramatic performance it has to go to Obama for posing as a real candidate. He is filled with empty paraphrases and catch-phrases, with little quality experience to lead our nation. "CHANGE" his diaper and let's vote for true leadership!

    proven leadership!

    January 7, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. surfer

    If Hillary is going to turn the country around, can she at least promise not to let it run us over again?

    January 7, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  16. Eve Casserly

    Reading this article, my only reaction is that were there an award for "MOST ADMIRED WOMAN IN THE USA", Hillary Clinton surely would deserve it.

    January 7, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  17. Marty Ross

    I was surprised at what she claimed to be crying about: "All that the country has done for her". Huh?? I think she is just over-exhausted and frustrated with the fact that Obama is doing so well against her. A loss in New Hampshire will be close to a knockout punch.

    January 7, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  18. John Baker

    I think Hillary is the most qualified person to be President and make the tough decisions that need to be made. I want a President that is genuine and compassionate since they are making decisions that affect peoples lives. This shows the human side of Hillary!

    January 7, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. Whisky

    America is a good country. Hillary is a good , decent and honorable woman and the next President. Getting emotional with teary eyes is the sign of a very loving mother, a passionate person who always fight hard for the young, unfortunates, disables, the poor, the humble, .... for the betterment of the country now and the genaration to come. Don't you think your own mom has ever wept for you ?

    Hillary will go on fighting for all of us regardless what happens in NH. I tell you why. Most of the people like to ride the wave like Obama. Even John Edwards is an opportunist. He had not done crap while in the senate let alone out of it. Obama is a fresh face. When the honeymoon is over, people will know Hillary is the only who is standing, forgiving, working, caring and bring change with her experience for 35 years in the White House.

    It Ok to set backs in early primaries, because it is believed failure is the foundation of success. Hillary will be the eventual winner !! Will be the greatest President ever.

    January 7, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. Julia Brisbane

    I have been watching both cnn and msnbc's coverage on the primary. I am a registered Independent in NH. At first I thought the mention of Hillary Clinton getting emotional would be just that, a passing mention. I am someone that gets frustrated with apparent transparency. In this case, audience manipulation, that has been picked up and perpetuated with the media. Last Saturday's democratic NH debate sometime after 2100 two things were said. Sen Edwards mentioned how he felt about seeking change (I'm not an Edwards person) and made a very impassioned statement of how very PERSONAL this campaign is and making change is and would continue to be for him when he was in the White House. Not turn away because the politics changed, etc. The 2nd item mentioned was Hillary's likability: How can this be remedied and help her come back, make her seem more personable?

    Seemingly appear to show 'true' emotion, it's allowable, expected in a woman, shows she has humanity yet she's paraphrasing what Edwards said. No one has made that connection/reference or given him the credit. Someone should go back to the Sat debate archives and run Edwards statement side by side. What a stretch to get the women's vote.

    I can honestly say, I'm still wavering with between some candidates and which party. Now I can honestly say Hillary does not have my vote. She just proved how far she is willing to go to get a vote. Likeability doesn't make a President, exprerience, ability, track record does. I hope her little farce has served to alienate her with the men's vote. It would serve as her due.

    January 7, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. benny

    "I have so many opportunities in this country" wow what country she came from ....... why do u think immigrants from other countries come here,and why is immigration a topic in this election anyway

    January 7, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  22. George from Oregon

    Reading through this list of posts is an eye opening experience and full of revelations. Some I could not keep to myself:

    1. There is way too much cynical, quick to 'hate' discourse in this country.

    I suppose we have Reagan and the 'Contract with America' crowd to thank for that – their failed movement(s) gave permission to publicly espouse hate talk and call it political discourse.

    We can see some change coming if you listen to the discourse from Obama, Huckabee, Edwards and, to some extent, McCain.

    2. There is way, way too much inaccurate information, and too many conclusions and accusations based on that inaccurate information.

    - When we complain about an ineffective government, we should look in the mirror for the cause.
    - When we complain about political 'games', we should look in the mirror for the ones who allow it to happen.
    - When we do choose to participate, we should have the personal integrity to confirm the accuracy of our message.
    - When we interact with our fellow citizens, we should speak to them as we would our grandmother.

    3. For my 1.33 cents of opinion (inflation due to oil prices factored in) on Hillary tearing up:

    - It's not my place to judge her sincerity of emotion.
    - I personally don't fear having a President who becomes emotional – it's part of being a human.
    - I do take issue with her message: "it's personal...." Hillary would make a good president, but it's just not her time. Clinton was a good president and she was a background, stress background participant. (He does get way too much credit for the economic boom of the 90's. That would have happened no matter who was president – I know this because I was in the heart of it.)

    But, Hillary first co-opted the change message, now she has co-opted "it's personal". She doesn't get it, people want real. For that reason, she has a big job ahead of her to be nominated without political shenanigans.

    > Jim: How has Edwards tried to take advantage of this? I would sincerely like to know.

    ### Commit to 30 days of watching CSPAN instead of 'entertainment' as a democratic duty for your country ##

    January 7, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  23. Susan - Las Vegas

    Hillary's human. Imagine that! It's sad to see that there are so many cynical people out there. Yet a lot of you are willing to accept someone for what they say and what you want them to be without even taking the time to check them out. Hillary is right, this is one of the most important elections of our lifetime. There are people who will say anything. Doing something is another story. Just look at George Bush. Don't be seduced into voting for someone that is all talk. Where's the meat ? I have not heard Obama lay out a plan to bring about all this change he talks about. You have to have ideas and plans. Idealism isn't enough. Go Hillary.

    January 7, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  24. Pam

    Hillary should be nominated for an Academy Award! What a performance!
    As a woman and a Democrat, I would never vote for her for this performance! She is running scared and should be! There are two other Democratic candidates that are applying the pressure, and if she handles pressure this way, well she is not the candidate to be President! She now mentions change, but I still have not seen any that she has made in NY as our Senator and her experience (that she proclaims to have) is not all that impressive.

    January 7, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  25. Paul, Tampa

    Might as well concede now.

    January 7, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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