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. Leslie

    You know, it's easy for people like Rush Limbaugh (the X addict) and Glen Beck (the X addict) to sit back and make a career off of the backs of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Would they have a career without the Clintons? No! They have been crying about the Clintons since before they were in the White House. They really have the right to judge other people and get paid for it! The Clinton's are easy targets, certainly, but give me a break! Hillary Clinton showed some emotion. Get over it and whine about something important. Perhaps whine about an issue instead of an emotion. Real or not, she put herself out there. Would you "Republican Limbaugh Beck lovers" do the same? I doubt it. Hillary has guts, passion and emotion. Cut her the same slack that you would cut one of your fragile flower flip flop Republican candidates!

    January 7, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  2. Carla

    Can you say Pat Schroeder?
    Lest you forget, one of the first women to run for President and the one who was first taken seriously – Senator Pat Schroeder of Colorado ran for President in 1988 and cried on National Television when later withdrawing from the contest.
    She was never taken seriously again.
    Presidents do not cry unless they are burying soldiers or astronauts. Thanks for tanking another equal opportunity moment Hillary.
    Perhaps you can "support" Obama like you did Bill.

    January 7, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  3. Albert Saxén

    Hillary is a human being being. Just like the rest of us. What breakdown? For finally showing a human side? Just as with the debate the other night this shows her passion for the job.

    The same way Dean's screech in Iowa was grossly overplayed ... well, so then there was Bush for another four years.

    I for one am more inclined to believe a candidate who's passionate.

    January 7, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  4. Doug from GA

    I know i misspelled "Hillary", sorry about that. But, at least I didn't misspell " Iran", and spelled "Iraq", and then invaded the wrong country like President Bush did. People- We have been living, fighting, and dying for a "big lie", the last eight years. Let us please get it behind us. All the money in the world can't be paid to bring a "Hero" back to life. Our economy is being sucked dry in this war over oil. Forget "miles per gallon"; it's "miles per life", now. Pay up, get out, and just to be sure, pay up, again. It will never be enough, if we stay, and stay, and stay another day. Think about, please.

    January 7, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  5. richard

    Now that Joe Biden is out of the race, all of a sudden it's all about experience! Good bye and good riddance Hillary. Can't she find a country that allows candidates to run for president after establishing residence for six months?

    January 7, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  6. Mike in Chitown

    What a significant bunch of shinola. I've thought I've seen it all in politics, but that took the cake. She faked tears ! "Oh we're in terrible trouble" and "I'm the only one who can fix it !" Is she joking ? Did bill put her up to it ?

    Totally ridiculous. She's desparate !

    That was like the fools that are coaught on DOG. They start blubbering and vow to change. Why ? Because they got caught. No other reason.

    Well now Hillary has been caught. In all her lies, and for once someone like Obama, has people waking up to the fact there is a better way.

    For the record, she changed nothing in Congress. NADA. ZIP, ZILCH. If it was anything she changed the way I view successful women in America. Basically she ruined it for me. I now view things very cynically because of her. And her husband. Both are morally bankrupt.

    They will do anything to get into power, and anything they want once they get there.

    People. WAKE UP. This lady is criminal.

    So does she cry at the negotiating table ?

    is this what you want trying to deal with People like Putin and the leaders of China. They are laughing at us all now, and will love it even more if she gets elected. They can't wait to bring her to tears !

    January 7, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  7. minati



    January 7, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  8. Jason, Chicago, IL

    Robin, I think you're the one that needs to wake up. It's not about being a woman. If anything, this is about implementing equality. I would be equally appalled if a man choked up in the same circumstance. I'm not going to judge Hillary any differently because she is a woman. That would be sexist and that's not who I am.

    This is about being an effective leader, and I think crying in that particular example shows a weakness in leadership. Crying at a roundtable with 16 independents (14 women) is not the same as crying at a funeral or some other dramatic moment.

    January 8, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  9. Jason, Chicago, IL

    BTW, my wife was appalled at her choking up. I think, like everything else in this election, it's a generational issue. This is not how a professional acts. Just like raising your voice and flashing anger in the debate was unprofessional. There is a difference between passion and being unprofessional. See Obama.

    January 8, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  10. ABC123

    She didn't cry... she got a teeny bit choked up. You want to see crying? Look up "Celine Dion + Larry King" on YouTube. THAT'S crying.

    Real or fake, staged or spontaneous, it was about 1 minute out of 1,440 minutes in Hillary's day today. I'm male and I don't really think this way very often, but I truly do not think this would be seen as a weakness if a man did it. Explaining why you believe what you do, why you do what you do... it CAN sometimes move you.

    Relax. Breathe. Vote. Oh, and get over yourselves.

    BTW – I was voting for Barack before, and I still am. I just think it's ridiculous the way people are pouncing on Hillary over this. I think it says more about them than her.

    January 8, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  11. Cristina

    A tired comment does not determine strength and control under pressure . Hillary Clinton has the commitment to serve, the skill to govern, the moral strength to lead, and the respect of world leaders and the international community.
    Our country, and especially Americans abroad, eagerly need to see a renewal of the respect and status lost under the present administration. No other candidate, of either party, comes close to having the experience and stature held by Hillary Clinton.

    Marbella, Spain

    January 8, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. Marisol

    I originally posted this comment on January 7, 2008 at 7:35 pm ET and somehow it was removed?

    I strongly believe that we should be respectful towards each other in expressing our opinions. Having said that, what I believe is strongly lacking in these blogs are facts and evidence to back up our opinions, because that shows we've done our homework and we are being a responsible citizen when we go to vote at the polls. Here's my bit that I have posted on a couple other blogs, so please excuse any redundancy. I hope it can be of some service to those who can keep an open mind and weigh the facts, not the polls or the media. Thank you.
    Experience DOES matter. Why? Because if all you look for is a personable guy who lack's knowledge and experience in dealing with domestic and global issues, you end up with George Bush Jr. who became his cabinet's puppet. The message of hope and change cannot come to fruition if it is not backed up by strategic policy.
    Regarding the status quo: Hillary called him on personally hiring a lobbyist to work for him and that he has flip flopped himself, e.g., as a reminder…voted for the patriot act (when originally he was against it) or voted for further funding the Iraq War (when he said he wouldn't support it), and he couldn't openly and candidly deny it. Sounds like flip-floppers are abound, including Obama, so if you're going to vote for a flip-flopper anyway, why not vote for someone who has knowledge and experience beyond civil rights.
    What REAL change he has brought about in Illinois? As a native Chicago, Illinois resident who resided there during his service as State Senator, I would have to agree with the opinions of my many friends, peers, former colleagues, and family members who still live there; NO CHANGE of any large-scale significance. If he can’t accomplish change within a state, what makes us believe that he can accomplish change in the country? He's missed key votes in Congress in favor of focusing on his campaign for presidency. His goal is clear, become President as quickly as possible and at any cost and forget about skill, knowledge and experience in order to judiciously execute intelligent decisions. He's a great speaker and can do great pep rally's, but this is not a high school popularity contest where you vote on likeability and great speeches, but rather on the important job of a President which needs to be given to an individual who QUALIFIES for the position like any other job. Thank you.
    A Little Background and Clarification
    First Issue: Hillary did not vote for us to go to war. Condoleezza Rice and President Bush Jr. personally assured the senators in congress that the intent for passing the bill was so that, should inspections fail, and ONLY IF they fail, then they would have to use some level of force, just like Bush Sr. did and Mr. Clinton. No one criticized them for that because it was thought to be the right thing to do then and now. The people you should be upset with are those in the White House who misled us, not our congress, they were misinformed. It was easy for the public to say don't do it, because we knew nothing about what the report said. Mr. Obama was not a U.S. senator at the time and, therefore, never had the obligation to vote, nor did he have access to the report administered to congress, so we don't really know what he would have done.
    Second Issue: Comparing Obama (Democrat) to Abraham Lincoln (Republican) is like comparing apples to oranges. Lincoln’s experience did include being a lawyer and serving in Congress well before he became our 16th President of the United States. The entire political and social climate of the U.S. in 1861 was very different than it is today. International relations weren’t really an issue besides our connection with Britain. Historically, the U.S. was an isolationist government until WWII when we were forced to enter the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. We didn’t get involved in wars because we didn’t fear international conflicts washing up on our shores. Making associations with Kennedy is also an error, because, again, our threat during the Cold War was the U.S.S.R., another superpower nation, which basically created a zero-sum playing field; meaning, no one wanted a nuclear war so the checks and balances of power played themselves out. The new diffused, diasporas terrorist groups are a new and different threat that our government is still striving to understand how to best address this matter. This is not unusual, because during WWII we were not prepared strategically at a military level either until the development of the Mac Arthur Plan, which carried us well through the Cold War. Technology has certainly complicated the matter, making it more difficult for intelligence to track extremely mobile terrorist groups. Hence, the playing field is completely different today than it was more than a century ago or even 50 years ago. I should note that, according to General Zinni, and other military strategist who do believe in diplomatic efforts, former President Clinton came the closest to establishing a horizontal military strategy that allows defense and intelligence departments to seamlessly communicate with one another, which would have likely prevented 9/11 and would increase our response time to any potential threat. Historically, presidents who lack experience, skill, and knowledge of the various issues facing our country, such as Carter and George W. Bush Jr., tend do very poorly in the oval office. Do you want another four years of on the job training? This makes our president vulnerable to the influence of various aides with conflicting opinions. A thoroughly knowledgeable base is necessary to independently sort through all the issues and recommendations that our next president will receive.
    Third Issue: Polls…never listen to polls! The WMUR/CNN only included ~347 voters on the Democratic side or leaning Democratic. I hardly could fathom that this is the entire population of NH. Moreover, we do not know how they determined their sampling, and statistics show that confounding factors, such as time of day, day of the week, and other lifestyle habits can skew results dramatically.
    Fourth Issue: CHANGE. Ask anyone in IL whether they believe Mr. Obama has personally changed their lives as State Senator until 2004 and as U.S. Senator since then, and you will find yourself searching endlessly for a positive answer. Please search the blogs and ask your friends and relatives who live in IL, they should know better than anyone his track record for change. Mr. Obama claims to bring about change that will be felt by all citizens. If that's his slogan, then he's already failed on the scorecard in IL. When the candidates were asked during the debate, “What do you consider to be your MOST significant contribution to change?” Mr. Obama replied that he passed legislation in congress to prohibit lobbyist from buying dinners for congressman, and Charlie Gibson quickly called him on it by saying that it only stated that they could not sit at the table, but that they could stand and eat. Mr. Obama had no response. Edwards tried to state that he passed the Patient Bill of Rights, and this time Mrs. Clinton called him on it and said that it was passed by the Senate, but not by the House, hence, dismissing his claim. Mr. Edwards had no response. In the end, of all four candidates, Mrs. Clinton Health Care initiatives, such as SCHIP, were the only substantiated claims of change. So a candidate’s record does count. Moreover, the magnitude of change is also important to consider, because in order to create change in a country such as ours, you need to know how to navigate the system to deliver the change you seek. You also need to be well networked in order to cross party lines. Mrs. Clinton worked for some time with Senator McCain on investigating global warming issues and passing legislation and with another Republican Senator, whose name I cannot unfortunately recall at the time (you can find out by watching Mr. Clinton’s speech yesterday 01/06/08 in NH) and who happened to try to impeach former President Clinton as well, to pass legislation that helped several children in foster care, including disabled children, enter into permanent homes. So her track record for change and working across party lines to effect change definitely speaks for itself.

    January 8, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  13. John Haigh, Arbor Vitae, Wi.

    Hillary may be very intelligent and could possibly be an excellent president IF she were not hated by every Republican in the Senate and some Democrats. This fact alone guarantees that should she be elected, four years of bitterness would ensue and every problem facing the US would go unsolved.
    I'm sorry but its a fact of the times. We must elect someone who can cross party lines and begin solving these pressing problems.

    Remember: the biggest myth imposed on American citizens is that the problems facing the US are very complex. They really aren't – the biggest problem facing us is the childish behavior of our elected officials.

    January 8, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  14. TOM Japan

    Isn't that wonderful to see the tried and tested breaking into pieces, she has been a president in waiting for the past 7 years but the inagauration is not going to happen simply because of Obama. Keep up Obama.

    January 8, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  15. Tom, Japan

    Isn't that wonderful to see the tried and tested breaking into pieces, she has been a president in waiting for the past 7 years but the inagauration is not going to happen simply because of Obama. Keep up Obama.

    January 8, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  16. A Mama for Obama

    I am a democrat, who has recently decided that Obama rather than Hillary, is my candidate. I do not have hatred or even serious dislike for Hillary...BUT...
    you have to know that this was a PERFORMANCE. She turned a question about hair into her moment to show a human side. I do not believe this was genuine emotion, afterall, if she didn't cry as the first lady who had her man's infedelity play out across the globe...then...please!

    A Mama for Obama
    Washington, DC

    January 8, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  17. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Barack Obama is not even a good senator. He has spent most of his miniscule time in the senate gearing up to run for president.

    He has one of the poorest voting records in the US senate and one of the most "present" votesin the state senate. I was not surprised to find out that his colleagues consider him not well prepared, not willing to put in the long hours and do the hard work required and that his fellow senators consider him to be arrogant. The latter I just heard this past week on PBS.

    Compare his record to Hillary's. She has one of the best voting records in the senate (prior to the campaign). She's consistently regarded as one of the most prepared senators and has won such respect among her colleagues that if she stays in the senate she would probably take over Reid's post once he retires.

    As for showing emotion, I find that endearing as it shows that she's as human as the rest of us.

    January 8, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  18. Jason

    I think Hillary is a very "kind" person and a show of emotion is nice for a change in our politicians. They are human after all. I think too many Americans expect our leaders to be emotionless gods of some sort. I'm not saying I'm a Hillary lover by any means, but I thought this reaction from her made her more "real" than anytime I have seen her in the past. If Hillary or Obama get the nomination, I am content with that. All I know is I want a democrat back in office. People can we get the religious nuts (aka republicans) out of office??!

    January 8, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  19. MarySue

    I would like to know what Obama done for his state when he was a state senator that was so great that changed IL. that he is going to change the US?!?

    January 8, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  20. Lynn Beltrano


    It hasn't been brought up that I've seen on media coverage, but with all that is being made about Hillary's "emotional" moment, which was the most natural, sincere, heartfelt appeal I've seen from any candidate about our country and it's current state, I wondered at that moment, if any medium had taken note of John Edward's emotional side the night of the last debate hosted by Charlie Gibson when he continued over and over to stated that this is personal, personal, personal and with his father in the audience and after his "exchange" with Hillary, I saw tears in his eyes. But, it hasn't been noted, discussed and it is my opinion that because Hillary is a woman, a negative connotation was labled on this very eligible candidate for the President of the United States.

    January 8, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  21. M.Kane

    M. Kane – Toronto, Canada:

    Clearly, regardless of the many bashers, Hillary will still succeed... perhaps, not at this 'early' stage but eventually, it will happen. There are still more States to go and in the end she will win ... believe it. She is the only person on that stage who can bring America 'back.' – If not, it will be a Republican.

    .... and no, she is not weak – America cannot deny that Hillary Clinton has demonstrated tremendous resilience in her public role, especially when the rest of the world has witnessed her resilience and perseverance. If Rudyard Kipling were alive, he would have written a 'sequel' to his Poem "IF" . She is a classic woman and there is alot to learn about her effective style of performance, especially in real, topsy-turvy chaos.

    Hillary will win. The world is looking on and at this time, from many perspectives, she is your best hope.

    January 8, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  22. Margaret Russell MD

    It's a very sad day for America in the 21st Century when the media has turned back the clock at least 4 decades and made gender an issue in this election. The news media have lost their sense of responsibility and in fact have become oh so hipocritical. They wouldn't dare say how obama is or isn't acting as a black man should..."See no color." But it's still okay to "see gender"??

    Holding Senator Clinton to a different standard is flat out wrong and hipocracy of the most profound order. You belittle women everywhere with comments like tonight on CNN. And you have the audacity to call it journalism to say things like, "Women see her aggressive style as 'bit–y' "...or..."women are more into relationships so they want to see a 'softer' persona..." To whom are you pandering?? As a woman, a professional women, as an educated woman with a doctorate, I am so offended by how the media is treating Senator Clinton. We women have been there; we know exacty what she is going through...and it is so wrong. None of the men, republican or democrat, have been called "bit–y" when they aggressively present their take on the issues or present their plans for change. None of the men are asked to show their "softer" side.

    The media is outright sexist. It's time for a change alright; it's time to "SEE No GENDER!!" It's time for women to stand up and not be told by the media how we think.

    January 8, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  23. Shabaz

    Hillary , Huckabee, Obama, Edwards, Gulianni, Romney, Paul, Kucinich, Thompson....

    Surely, whatever the result it can only be an improvement ?

    It must be an act of extreme historical improbability that of the above candidates could be as incompetent, deceitful, bumbling and hyprocritical as George W Bush ?

    Chin Up America... Unless Hitler or Bin Laden gets elected, things can only get better when W goes.

    January 8, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  24. Lance in Monrovia

    Why is she crying? Could it be a cry for desperation? She figures her campaign is already dead in the water, so why not try to cry and see if it'll get her anywhere? That's pretty desperate. Also, what is she going to do when they tell her that Pakistan is ready to bomb us. Is she going to cry then too? What is her problem? I want a president that is strong, active, and composed. I thought she was a strong-break-through-the-glass-ceiling woman. Apparantly cutting through the glass hurts and makes her cry. Get a bandaid and move on and out of this race. This race is tough like our country and we don't need a crybaby. Leave that to the republicans when they lose to the Barack Obama.

    January 8, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  25. Dawn

    Senator Clinton,

    Ignore the jerks and keep going. You're going to be a fabulous President.

    For the people that think this is all about a bad hair day, watch the video again. You will see the whole thing in context and see that Hillary Clinton really cares about this country. There is nothing wrong with displaying emotion in the right context. In fact, most psychiatrists argue that it is a healthy thing to do. At least she has emotion!! That's more than anyone can say about the brat Bush boy.

    Very simply, Obama does not have the experience necessary to be President. He is not ready for Day One or Day Twelve. People – focus on who will be able to beat the Republicans. Obama will not. You might as well kiss your civil rights goodbye if we have another four years of Republican rule.

    So what if Obama voted "no" to war? The people voting "yes" to war did so not because they wanted bloodshed – but because – they had weighed the evidence provided to them at the time (hey, don't blame them for being lied to!) and had to take a stand. So, by voting "no" to war, in effect, Obama was approving of Saddam's regime in the face of evidence allegedly showing Saddam had amassed weapons of mass distruction. Makes one wonder why that didn't bother him, doesn't it?

    How can he now claim that "he knew" war was wrong and that's why he voted against it? Is he claiming to be psychic, or what? If so, perhaps he can just tell us where bin Laden is! I, for one, vote to stop funneling billions of our taxpayer money into a hopeless cause abroad (i.e., IRAQ) and begin using it to save our own domestic programs.

    You ROCK, Hillary!!

    January 8, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
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